The Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird is a denizen of densely vegetated woodlands and forests, where it feeds on fruits (especially of wild figs) and berries, and occasionally the odd insect, in the middle to upper stories. Its call is an often-heard sound of the dense habitats it frequents. Yellow-rumped Tinkerbirds are usually encountered singly or in pairs and breed throughout the year with a peak in the summer months, excavating nesting holes in the underside of a dead branch or stump. Clutches usually number between 2 and 5 (usually 3) eggs, incubated by both parents for about 2 weeks. The chicks leave the nest at about 3 weeks old. Adults measure only about 11cm in length and weigh a mere 15g or so.
The Yellow-rumped Tinkerbird is considered of least concern by the IUCN. It occurs in the forests of West and Central Africa, through the wetter parts of East Africa and along the Indian Ocean coast to South Africa, where it is found along the coast and adjacent hinterland of Kwazulu-Natal and the Lowveld and Escarpment of Mpumalanga.