The White-eared Barbet is a forest bird that feeds mainly on fruit (being especially fond of wild figs), occasionally including insects in the menu. Adults measure around 18cm in length and weigh approximately 50g. Groups of up to eleven birds share a hole in a dead tree as a roost, They breed during spring and summer, laying clutches of 3-6 eggs. The chicks stay in the nest for about 5 weeks.
The IUCN notes that the overall population of the White-eared Barbet is probably decreasing due to habitat loss and modification, though still listing it as being of least concern. They occur in a narrow band along Africa’s east coast from Kenya southwards to South Africa, where they may be found only in the province of Kwazulu-Natal.