Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Speckled Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus scolopaceus)


French: Barbion grivelé German: Schuppenbartvogel Spanish: Barbudito escolopáceo

Xylobucco scolopaceus


, 1850,

Ashanti, Ghana


No close relatives. Forms described as aloysii (from Kenya and Uganda) and flavior (N Angola) considered synonyms of flavisquamatus. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. s. scolopaceus (Bonaparte, 1850) – Sierra Leone and SE Guinea E to S Nigeria.
  • P. s. stellatus (Jardine & Fraser, 1852) – Bioko I.
  • P. s. flavisquamatus (J. P. Verreaux & J. B. É. Verreaux, 1855) – S Cameroon E to Uganda, S to N Angola and S DRCongo.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 12 cm; 11–18 g. Rather large for a tinkerbird, with scaly markings above. Nominate race has blackish-olive crown feathers broadly edged and tipped with yellow;... read more


    Variable, diverse, song-like series of single to 6-part “tikikik” notes, and loud, typically... read more


    Occupies primary forest at edges, in clearings, and also secondary forest and plantations of trees... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet of fruits and arthropods (mainly insects). Fruits include those of figs, and species of Coelocaryon, Heisteria, ... read more


    Long season, or possibly renests: most months in W Africa, but especially Sept–Feb; in Apr–Jun on Bioko; in Oct–Mar in... read more


    Resident and sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Widespread, and somewhat adaptable. Population in Liberia estimated at 1,200,000 pairs; estimates of 12–15 pairs/km² in Gabon secondary forest... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L. & Horne, J.F.M. (2017). Speckled Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus scolopaceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 15 December 2017).