Common Scimitarbill (Rhinopomastus cyanomelas)

The Common Scimitarbill is a medium sized bird, 12" (30cm), although small for a Wood-hoopoe, that appears black, although in good light, it has glossy blues and purples on its back. It has white bars across its primary flight feathers and spots of white on its tail. Its long, fine, strongly (de)curved bill is black, as are its feet. Note, the similar Green Wood-hoopoe has a red bill and red feet.

Common Scimitarbills are seen singly, or in pairs, in open woodland, tall bushes or moist savanna.

Common Scimitarbills are aboreal birds, often seen clinging to tree trunks and branches, digging for insects in the bark. If termites are hatching, they can be seen on the ground.

Commonly seen in the south-west of Kenya, in particular, Laikipia, Cherangani Hills, Ndoto Mountains and the Tana River.

Extra Facts
Common Scimitarbills lay their eggs in the cavity of a tree. Their call sounds like "weep~weep~weep".

Photographed in Kenya's Olare Orok Conservancy.

Categories & Keywords
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Keywords:bird, common scimitarbill, kenya, scimitarbill, wildlife, wood-hoopoe

Common Scimitarbill ~ Eating

Common Scimitarbill, digging an insect out of an old tree trunk.