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Barbets: Capitonidae

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (pogoniulus Chrysoconus): Species Accounts

Physical characteristics: Yellow-fronted tinkerbirds are small, strong-billed, short-tailed tinkerbirds that have a yellow to orange forecrown and center of crown bordered in black. They have a black hindcrown with white streaks, black upperparts with white to yellow-white streaks, gray under parts washed with lemon yellow, a black tail with yellow-white edges, blackish brown wings edged in white or yellow-white, and a mostly pale yellow rump. Adults are 4.3 to 4.7 inches (11 to 12 centimeters) long and weigh between 1.9 and 2.2 ounces (8 and 20 grams).

Geographic range: They are found in the sub-Saharan Africa, from the Atlantic Ocean to southern Sudan (but not found near the coast of the Red Sea), south from Sudan to Lake Victoria, and most of Central Africa south to Mozambique. They are not found in central West Africa.

Yellow-fronted tinkerbirds eat small berries and fruits, as well as insects, beetles, and other invertebrates. (P. Ward/Bruce Coleman Inc. Reproduced by permission.)

Habitat: The birds live in many types of forests and riverside woodlands. They like dry, bushy lands from small patches of forests to tall clumps and scattered trees in grasslands and scrublands.

Diet: Yellow-fronted tinkerbirds eat small berries and bright red, orange, and purple fruits, such as mistletoe berries and figs, as well as insects, beetles, and other invertebrates. They move quietly through foliage and dead leaves while pecking at prey or taking off berries and fruits.

Behavior and reproduction: Yellow-fronted tinkerbirds do not regularly migrate. They usually are found alone or in pairs, but will sometimes join flocks of many bird species. The birds fly fast from spot to spot. During breeding season, they dig cavities in many places such as dead stumps or branches. During this time, breeding birds become aggressive to other barbets that try to approach. In order to defend their territory, males erect their crown feathers, swing their head, flutter their wings, flick their tail, and call out with popping sounds. Females lay two to three white eggs. The incubation period is about twelve days, while the nestling period is about twenty-one days. They breed in all seasons, and have three to four broods each year.

Yellow-fronted tinkerbirds and people: People enjoy listening to the song of yellow-fronted tinkerbirds.

Conservation status: Yellow-fronted tinkerbirds are not threatened. They are generally common throughout their geographical range. ∎

Additional topics

Animal Life ResourceBirdsBarbets: Capitonidae - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Coppersmith Barbet (megalaima Haemacephala): Species Accounts, Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird (pogoniulus Chrysoconus): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, BARBETS AND