The Crested barbet occurs from Angola and Zambia south to southern Africa, where it is common in a wide range of woodland habitats. It is omnivorous, eating largely insects when fruit is scarce, although the chicks are fed exclusively insects. Both sexes excavate the nest, which consists of a chamber dug into the underside of a dead branch, defended vigorously against other hole-nesting birds. It lays 2-5, usually 3-4 eggs which are incubated by both sexes for about 17 days. The chicks stay in the nest for about 31 days, all the while the breeding pair enlarge the entrance hole as they grow.