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Common Scimitarbill | Rhinopomastus cyanomelas

The Common Scimitarbill is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Rhinopomastidae bird family group which includes birds such as Scimmitarbills.

The description for the Common Scimitarbill (Latin name Rhinopomastus cyanomelas) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Rhinopomastus cyanomelas can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 454 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 165. You will find a picture of the Common Scimitarbill on page 161.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Scimitar-billed Wood-Hoopoe in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Common Scimitarbill between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Common Scimitarbill is known in Afrikaans as Swartbekkakelaar.

The Common Scimitarbill has a height of 28 cms and weighs around 35 gms. The head is coloured blue while the bill is coloured black. The Rhinopomastus cyanomelas has a black coloured throat, black legs and a violet coloured back. The eyes are brown.

The male Rhinopomastus cyanomelas has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is blue

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are black

Throat is black

Back is violet

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the tree trunk

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Common Scimitarbill is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured green.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Common Scimitarbill is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is found in the arid and semi-arid regions of Southern Africa and it can withstand high day and night temperatures

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The Common Scimitarbill is mainly seen singly or in pairs in the wild.

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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