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Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

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Johan van Rensburg
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Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:37 pm

The Yellow-fronted Tinkerbird, Pogoniulus chrysoconus, is essentially a dwarf Barbet. Its continuous repetitive "tink...tink...tink...tink" is a common sound of dry woodland savannah but the bird itself is tricky to locate as its voice has ventriloquist-like properties. You may be able to narrow its position down to a single tree and then still battle to locate it even though it would be mere metres away!

This tiny bird sits motionless issuing “tinks” of varying intensity that drives one nuts: flushing the bird by any means becomes a rash solution that often results in the call going quiet, followed by a tiny, yellow and black pocket-rocket zipping across one’s view. It may alight within your range of view, now allowing some brief binocular views, perhaps, before it would dart off to another secluded spot out of sight where the incessant "tink...tink...tink...tink" will start all over again.

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Aaah! But there is a trick to get these birds to show! They react wonderfully to their "tink...tink...tink...tink" played back to them. This is exactly the way we lured this tinkerbird into the net at our ringing station in Venda’s Gundani Camp, not far from the western border of the KNP.
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Re: Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted

Unread postby johanrebel » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:29 pm

They do at times call perched right in the open at the very top of a tall tree. If you have a good vantage point the calling bird can. with a bit of patience, be located even from quite a distance.

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Re: Tinkerbird, Yellow-fronted

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:22 am

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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Crested Val » Sun Dec 29, 2013 9:54 am

Please could one of you clever birders help me!! :pray:

I am often woken here in Phalaborwa by a bird call, which is just a single note.
it sounds like a slow version of the noise a lorry makes when it reverses.
I haven't been able to find the little blighter, so hoping someone will recognise it from my description of it's call.
Any ideas? :hmz:
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Johan van Rensburg
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:01 pm

Crested Val wrote:Please could one of you clever birders help me!! :pray:

I am often woken here in Phalaborwa by a bird call, which is just a single note.
it sounds like a slow version of the noise a lorry makes when it reverses.
I haven't been able to find the little blighter, so hoping someone will recognise it from my description of it's call.
Any ideas? :hmz:


Have you considered one of the tinkerbirds, yellow-fronted being the most probable?
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby huntsman » Mon Dec 30, 2013 1:50 pm

Great answer.

I'll wager my Christmas bonus it's a tinkerbird. :lol:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Crested Val » Tue Dec 31, 2013 8:07 am

Thanks Johan and Huntsman..........I have looked it up in my bird book, so now I know what I'm looking for, I can try and track it down. :thumbs_up:
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Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby huntsman » Tue Dec 31, 2013 10:49 am

Crested Val wrote:Thanks Johan and Huntsman..........I have looked it up in my bird book, so now I know what I'm looking for, I can try and track it down. :thumbs_up:


No credit for me Val - just rang a loud bell when I read Johan's suggestion, and I could almost hear that 'lorry' backing up..! :mrgreen:
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