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Green Barbet - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Steve G
Arabuko-Sokoke forest, Kenya, August 2007
Cryptolybia olivacea

Stactolaema olivacea


17–18 cm
A solidly built dull greenish-olive bird with yellow-green wings and typical stout barbet bill.


A range-restricted east African endemic (Kenya to eastern South Africa) favouring moist evergreen woodland and forest.



There are 5 subspecies[1]:

  • C. o. olivacea:
  • C. o. howelli: Howell's Barbet
  • Central Tanzania (Udzungwe and Mahenge mountains)
  • C. o. woodwardi: Woodward's Barbet
  • South-eastern Tanzania (Rondo Plateau) and KwaZulu-Natal (Ngoye Forest)
  • C. o. rungweensis:
  • Highlands of south-western Tanzania to northern Malawi
  • C. o. belcheri:
  • Southern Malawi (Mount Thyolo) and northern Mozambique (Mount Namuli)

Some authorities split Woodward's Barbet (Stactolaema woodwardi) from this species.


This bird is arboreal tending to favour the (sub)canopy of tall trees.



The nest hole is typically excavated high up in dead wood.


Their main diet consists of fruits and better, particularly figs.


The call is a repetitive tyok.tyok.tyok and birds often duet.


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved October 2014)
  3. BF Member observations

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