Family African Barbets (Lybiidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus bilineatus)


French: Barbion à croupion jaune German: Goldbürzel-Bartvogel Spanish: Barbudito culigualdo

Megalæma [sic] bilineata


, 1850,

KwaZulu-Natal, south Africa


Appears to be most closely related to P. subsulphureus and the P. pusillusP. chrysoconus group; possibly fairly close to P. atroflavus. Yellow-rumped races leucolaimus, poensis and mfumbiri have been thought to represent a separate species, but they intergrade with the three golden-rumped races in E DRCongo, Rwanda and Burundi; also, vocal evidence supports placement of leucolaimus within present species. In view of similarity and intergradation between these two groups, other described forms considered untenable: thus, sharpei (S Ghana), togoensis (Gambia to S Nigeria) and nyansae (W shore L Victoria) regarded as synonymous with leucolaimus; urungensis (S shore L Tanganyika) with mfumbiri; alius (C Kenya) with jacksoni; pallidus (Sokoke Forest, in Kenya) and conciliator (Uluguru Mts, in E Tanzania) with fischeri; and rovumensis (SE Tanzania), deceptor (E Zimbabwe), riparium (S Mozambique, NE South Africa) and oreonesus (Malawi) with nominate bilineatus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. b. leucolaimus (J. P. Verreaux & J. B. É. Verreaux, 1851) – Lemon-rumped Tinkerbird – Senegambia E to S Mali#R#R, S Cameroon, S Central African Republic, South Sudan and W Uganda, S to N Angola and S DRCongo.
  • P. b. poensis (Alexander, 1908) – highlands of Bioko I.
  • P. b. mfumbiri (Ogilvie-Grant, 1907) – SW Uganda and E DRCongo to W Burundi, W Tanzania and E & NC Zambia.
  • P. b. jacksoni (Sharpe, 1897) – E Uganda and C Kenya S to E Burundi and N Tanzania.
  • P. b. fischeri (Reichenow, 1880) – coastal Kenya S to NE Tanzania; also Zanzibar and Mafia I (off E Tanzania).
  • P. b. bilineatus (Sundevall, 1850) – Golden-rumped Tinkerbird – E Zambia and S Tanzania S to E South Africa.
  • Descriptive notes

    10–12 cm; 11–18·6 g, but fischeri 8–12·5 g, and leucolaimus 7·2–14 g. The epitome of a tinkerbird, with... read more


    Usual song paused popping, series of “pop” notes at c. 3 per second, in sets generally... read more


    Forested highlands and lowlands, especially at edges, about clearings, in forest clumps left over... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruits essential, including especially mistletoe berries (Loranthus, Tieghemia sulphurea, Viscum), also ... read more


    Nov–Apr in W Africa (e.g. apparently Jan in Ghana, although vocal activity has been noted to be reduced in late Oct–Nov and Jan... read more


    Resident, and largely sedentary, but dispersal up to 20 km.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Form “makawai” officially considered Data Deficient. Widespread, and common throughout range; generally commonest tinkerbird... read more

    Recommended citation

    Short, L.L., Horne, J.F.M. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird (Pogoniulus bilineatus). 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).