Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Data Deficient

White-chested Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus makawai)


French: Barbion de Makawa German: Weißbrust-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudito pechiblanco

Pogoniulus makawai

Benson and Irwin

, 1965,

4 miles north of Mayau, Kabompo District, Zambia


Known from single specimen sometimes considered merely an aberrant individual of P. bilineatus, but recent reinvestigation suggests that it may well be a valid species#R. Monotypic.


NW Zambia.

Descriptive notes

11 cm. Tiny, thick-billed barbet. Black head with white moustachial stripe and white breast diagnostic. Differs from P. bilineatus (with which previously regarded as... read more


Unknown; the report that the voice of makawai is “subtly different from Yellow-rumped... read more


Only available evidence suggests that it favours dense, evergreen Cryptosepalum thicket,... read more

Food and feeding

Nothing known; the voluminous bill of makawai suggests it may specialise on mistletoe berries, as other tinkerbirds are known to.


No information, but the type specimen (collected in first week of Sep) was in breeding condition.


None known, although it has been suggested that the unique type specimen was “a straggler ... from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered to be Data Deficient, primarily due to questions over its taxonomic status, however it is also the case that the species is... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Kirwan, G.M. (2018). White-chested Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus makawai). 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 18 December 2018).