African Green-tinkerbirds

The African Green-tinkerbirds (Pogoniulus simplex) are found in the following African countries:

Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique and Tanzania.


They are usually about 20–25 cm long, plump-looking, with large heads. Their heavy bill is fringed with bristles.

Diet / Feeding

They are mainly solitary birds, eating insects and fruit, including figs. They will also visit plantations and take cultivated fruit and vegetables. Fruit is eaten whole and indigestible material such as seed pits regurgitated later.

As the other barbets, they are thought to be important agents in seed dispersal in tropical forests.

As well as taking fruit, African barbets also take arthropod prey, gleaned from the branches and trunks of trees. Insects include ants, cicadas, dragonflies, crickets, locusts, beetles, moths, mantids – even scorpions and centipedes.

Nesting / Breeding

They usually nest in holes bored into dead trees, branches or stumps. They usually lay between 2 to 4 eggs that are incubated for 13–15 days. Nesting duties are shared by both parents.Tinkerbirds place sticky mistletoe seeds around the entrances of their nests, probably to deter predators.

African Barbet InformationAfrican Barbet Species IndexAfrican Barbet Photo Gallery

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