Yellowfronted tinkerbird

Pogoniulus chrysoconus

TAXONOMY

Pogoniulus chrysoconus Temminck, 1832. Three subspecies. OTHER COMMON NAMES

English: Yellow-fronted tinker barbet; French: Barbion à front jaune; German: Gelbstim-Bartvogel; Spanish: Gitano de Frente Amarillo.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

4.3 in (11 cm); 1.9-2.2 oz (53-63 g). Upperparts are black with white to yellow-white streaks shading to a mostly pale yellow rump; underparts are gray washed with lemon yellow. Tail is black with yellow-white edges; wings are blackish brown edged in white or yellow-white. Forecrown and center of crown are yellow to deep orange bordered in black; hindcrown is black with white streaks.

DISTRIBUTION

Sub-Saharan Africa, from Atlantic to southern Sudan but not reaching Red Sea coast; absent from central West Africa; south from Sudan to Lake Victoria, most of Central Africa south to Mozambique.

HABITAT

Many kinds of forest and riverside woodland habitats and dry, bushy vegetation, from small patches of forest to tall clumps and isolated trees in grassland.

BEHAVIOR

Solitary, occasionally joining mixed flocks briefly; flies rapidly from place to place, excavating roosting cavities in a variety of habitats. Very aggressive and alert to other barbets, approaching them when they call and even visiting nests of other species. Erects gold crown feathers in display.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Moves steadily upwards through foliage, pecking at insects and other invertebrates or finding fruits; takes smaller berries from bushes, often bright red, orange, or purple fruits; investigates clumps of dead leaves for insects.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Territorial; swings head, flicks tail, and erects bright crown and rump feathers in time with monotonously repeated popping notes: 8-120 notes per minute for up to 109 minutes. Territories defended by patrols and singing along borders. Nest excavated in dead stump or branch; 2-3 white eggs incubated for 12 days, nestlings fledge in three weeks.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened; widespread and generally quite common.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS

Constant repetition of song notes well known. ♦

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