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Life in the wild Gilded Barbets are distributed in South America. Their occurrence ranges from Peru, Ecuador, Columbia, Venezuela, towards north-western Brazil and north- western Bolivia. Here they are found in mountain and floodplain forests, as well as in gardens and plantations, mainly in areas where old tree populations allow them to hollow out tree trunks. The holes are used as cavities for both, breeding and resting. Gilded Barbets are opportunistic and feed preferably on fruits and insects.


Husbandry in Weltvogelpark Walsrode It was a great pleasure for all animal keepers when a pair of Gilded Barbets moved to the paradise hall in Weltvogelpark in autumn 2015. The birds were accommodated into a : 3 x 3,5 x 2 m (length, width, height) large aviary. Its substrate is partly covered with forest soil and partly with bark mulch. The aviary is loosely planted with tropical shrubs and foreground plants and furthermore equipped with a water basin, a feeding station and different branches to perch on. For the construction of cavities different thick birch tree trunks are provided. Our experience showed that Barbets love to carve every type of wood with their strong bills, however, they do not construct a nesting hole out of every wooden tee trunk. While pine tree and spruce are only superficially carved,


18 BIRD SCENE


Gilded Barbets seem to have a preference for birch, which is straight away very intensively treated and carved.


Breeding in Weltvogelpark Walsrode In spring 2016 our Gilded Barbets started building a nesting hole in one of the birch tree trunks. Very diligent and persistent they excavate the tree trunk and carpenter their own nesting hole. After a four-week construction period, the female moved into the nesting hole and it became clear to everybody, that shortly afterwards a clutch of eggs must have been laid in the cavity. Gilded Barbets lay 3-4 eggs. Because the inside of the nesting hole, which is completely built by the birds themselves, is not visible for us, the actual number of eggs remains the female’s secret. Also the exact breeding time can only be estimated with two to two and a half weeks. During this time female and male take turns in incubating, whereat our animal keepers observed that in the morning the female stays in the nesting hole, while the male takes over the afternoon shift.


Very diligent and persistent they excavate the tree trunk and carpenter their own nesting hole. After a four- week construction period, the female moved into the nesting hole and it became clear to everybody, that shortly afterwards a clutch of eggs must have been laid in the cavity


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