Common Scimitarbill ( Rhinopomastus cyanomelas, family: Rhinopomastidae)

Birds & Birding in the Kruger National Park South Africa. In Roberts 6 this bird was called Scimitar-billed Wood-Hoopoe

common scimitarbill kruger national park birds The Common Scimitarbill (Latin name Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 454 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 165 also a picture of the Common Scimitarbill on page 161. The Common Scimitarbill belongs to the family of birds classified as Rhinopomastidae. According to the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology the Common Scimitarbill is also known by these other names: Greater Scimitarbill, Scimitarbill, African Scimitarbill.

In the previous edition of Roberts (ie 6th edition) the Common Scimitarbill was called the Scimitar-billed Wood-Hoopoe

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Common Scimitarbill is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Common Scimitarbill in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Common Scimitarbill : see above distribution map.

The Common Scimitarbill.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Common Scimitarbill is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Common Scimitarbill is about 28 cms and its weight is about 35 gms

You will find that the male Common Scimitarbill plumage and colours are different to that of the female Common Scimitarbill

  • Head is blue.
  • Eye is brown.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is black.
  • Back is violet.
  • Legs are black.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Common Scimitarbill feeds on tree trunks mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Common Scimitarbill is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Rhinopomastus cyanomelas will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Common Scimitarbill is to create the nest in a hole in a tree trunk. The bird lays eggs which are green in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Common Scimitarbill are: woodlands and arid areas

You will not see Common Scimitarbill in flocks. The bird prefers to act singly or in pairs.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... Unknown

Afrikaans ...Swartbekkakelaar

German ... Sichelhopf

Portuguese ... Bico-de-cimitarra

French ... Irrisor namaquois

Dutch ... Zuidafrikaanse Boomhop

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 454

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,