The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, what a great name. whenever I think of this tiny bird I think of Peter Pans Tinkerbell. I suppose it’s just the name I associate or maybe that they are both elusive. It was in the past known as a Yellow-fronted Tinker Barbet and is indeed a member of the Barbet family.

I’m reminded about a day when our Bird-guide Lamin Bojang was walking around the lodge with some of our birding guests. He was trying to find our little Tinkerbell by mimicking her sound. Being a fairly accomplished mimic, more usually of people than birds but I couldn’t resist answering Lamin’s call. The look on his face as he came around the corner and realised I had been answering him was a picture.

©Rob Garner | Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird
©Rob Garner | Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird

Where can we find the bird?

You will find this cousin to the Barbet at Footsteps all year round. See our guided bird-watching trips

Outside of our lodge, the Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird is widespread and a common resident breeder in much of Africa south of the Sahara Desert. It is also found in dry open woodland and scrub. Source Wikipedia

In Gambia, this delightful bird is widespread and generally fairly common in forest interiors.

What does it look like?

The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird has speckled and streaked upper parts, uniformly pale yellow underparts, and a distinctive yellow-gold forehead patch. It is approximately 11 cm in length, plump and has a short neck, large head and short tail.

What does it feed on?

This little bird loves insects and fruit. Mistletoe fruits are swallowed whole and the sticky seeds are then regurgitated and wiped off on nearby branches.

Want to know an interesting Factoid?

Yellow-fronted Tinkerbirds are the most important disperser of mistletoes

How does it sound?

The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird’s call is a fast Tok, Tok, Tok and repeats around 100 times per minute. Most Barbets sit in full view but unlike their larger relatives, they are more elusive and more likely to be heard rather than seen.

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