Knowledge of the vocalizations of Afrotropical birds is very limited and many problems exist. Seasonality of vocal activity has not been properly researched in the context of potential variability in the times of breeding. The different types of duetting and chorus singing, as exemplified by the African barbets, Capitonidae, need to be studied to correct the over-generalized treatment of this subject. Fuller information is required about geographic variation of those vocalizations which there is a tendency to use as criteria for taxonomic separation of species. Other problems which invite more research are mimicry, nocturnal and diurnal song, the extent of species' repertoires of calls, and vocalizations during breeding activities. There is an urgent need for more studies to be made of the vocal behaviour of birds in Africa where threats to the habitats are increasing so rapidly.