The red-fronted tinkerbird, Pogoniulus pusillus formerly known as the red-fronted tinker barbet is a small African barbet. Barbets are near passerine birds with bristles around the base of the bill. They have a world-wide tropical distribution.

The red-fronted tinkerbird is a widespread and frequently common resident breeder in eastern South Africa, with a separate population from southern Sudan and Ethiopia south to central and eastern Tanzania. It is sometimes considered conspecific with its northern counterpart, the yellow-fronted tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus.

The red-fronted tinkerbird is associated with juniper forest and scrub. It nests in a tree hole and lays two or three eggs. It eats berries and fruit, particularly mistletoe, but also takes insects as it forages in deep cover.

The red-fronted tinkerbird is 9–10.5 cm (3.5–4.1 in) in length. It is a plump bird, with a short neck, large head, and short tail. The adult has black upperparts heavlly streaked with yellow and white, and a golden wing patch. Its head has a strong black and white pattern, with a red forecrown spot. Its underparts and rump are lemon yellow. Sexes are similar in appearance, but young birds lack the red forehead.

This species is distinguished from the yellow-fronted tinkerbird by the colour of the forehead spot, the golden wing patch, and its overall darker appearance. It is often confused with the red-fronted barbet, but it is significantly smaller than that species, has a black moustache and a less robust bill, and lacks a broad yellow superciliary stripe.

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



Red-fronted Tinkerbird
Date Location Count
2020-01-30 15:15Kongelai Escarpment1
2020-01-30 07:46Lake Baringo--West Shore (incl. Baringo Club and Robert's Camp and airstrip)1
2020-01-31 07:27Lake Nakuru NP1
2020-02-16 07:00Lake Manyara--Serena Lodge1
2020-02-15 10:54Lake Manyara NP (Arusha)1
2020-02-15 06:55Lake Manyara NP (Manyara)
2020-02-03 08:00Nairobi NP1
2020-02-17 08:15Awash NP--Lodge and Falls1
2020-01-25 08:02Kilimanjaro Golf & Wildlife Estate1
2020-02-02 13:47Amboseli NP1
2020-02-06 09:19Dakatcha Woodlands (Adu area)1
2020-02-20 13:55Nguuni Nature Sanctuary1
2020-02-10 09:13Diani--Kaya Kinondo
2020-01-24 07:01Lake Chem Chem
2020-02-02 06:19Mwamba Field Study Centre
2020-02-12 17:24Lower Tana River Delta1
2020-02-07 08:25Sabaki River Estuary
2020-02-13 06:49Tana Delta--Delta Dunes Lodge
2020-02-08 16:06Ndumo GR1
2020-02-05 06:00Phinda GR
2020-02-15 06:58Kuleni Conservancy1