Barred Becards

The Barred Becard, Pachyramphus versicolor, is a resident breeder in the highlands from Costa Rica to northwestern Ecuador and northern Bolivia.

They can be seen in the canopies and middle levels of mountain forests, coming lower at edges and in adjacent more open woodland, mainly at altitudes between 1500-2500 m. They can occur singly, in pairs or family groups, or often as part of a mixed-species feeding flock.


The adult Barred Becard is 12 cm long and weighs 14 g; it has a conspicuous eye ring.

The adult male has black upperparts with much white in the wings. The sides of the head and throat are yellowish-green shading to white on the rest of the underparts. The underparts are finely barred with black.

The adult female has a grey crown and nape, olive-green upperparts and largely rufous wings. The greenish-yellow underparts are finely barred with dusky.

Immature males are much duller and greener than the adults, with weaker barring.

Song / Call

The calls include a soft but persistent weet weet weet weet… or a teseep tesep tseep tseep.

Nesting / Breeding

The hen usually builds the nest in a high fork of a tree branch. The nest, is a 30 cm diameter spherical structure of plant material with a low entrance.

She typically lays and incubates for 18 to 20 days two dark brown-blotched / brownish white eggs between April and June. Both fhe male and the female raise the young.


Barred Becards actively pick large insects, spiders and berries.

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