Yellow-fronted tinkerbird

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Yellow-fronted tinkerbird
Yellow-fronted tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus, at Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, South Africa (15819114098), crop.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Lybiidae
Genus: Pogoniulus
Species: P. chrysoconus
Binomial name
Pogoniulus chrysoconus
(Temminck, 1832)

The yellow-fronted tinkerbird (Pogoniulus chrysoconus) is a small African barbet formerly known as yellow-fronted tinker barbet. It is sometimes considered conspecific with its southern counterpart, the red-fronted tinkerbird, Pogoniulus pusillus. Barbets are near passerine birds with bristles around the base of the bill and a world-wide tropical distribution.

Range and habitat[edit]

The yellow-fronted tinkerbird is a widespread and frequently common resident breeder in much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. It is associated with dry open woodland and scrub.


The yellow-fronted tinkerbird is approximately 11 cm (4.3 in) in length. It is plump, with a short neck, large head, and short tail. The adult has black upperparts heavily streaked with yellow and white. Its head has a strong black and white pattern, with a yellow forecrown spot. The underparts and rump are lemon yellow. Both sexes are similar in appearance, but young birds have a differentiating dark crown that lacks the distinct yellow spot.


An active nest cavity on the underside of a branch

The species nests in tree holes and lays two or three eggs.


At about 100 repetitions per minute, the yellow-fronted tinkerbird's call is a fast tink-tink-tink-tink. Many barbets perch prominently, but, unlike their larger relatives, the smaller tinkerbirds sing from cover and are more frequently heard than seen.


The yellow-fronted tinkerbird eats insects and fruit. Mistletoe fruits (Tapinanthus spp.) are swallowed whole. The sticky seeds are regurgitated and wiped off on nearby branches. Across their distribution range, yellow-fronted tinkerbirds are the most important disperser of mistletoes.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Pogoniulus chrysoconus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ S.K.B. Godschalk (1985) Feeding behaviour of avian dispersers of mistletoe fruit in the Loskop Dam Nature Reserve, South Africa, South African Journal of Zoology, 20:3, 136-146, DOI: 10.1080/02541858.1985.11447926

External links[edit]