Common (greater) scimitarbill

Smaller and more slender than Green and Violet wood-hoopoes, this species differs from juveniles of those species (which, like this species, have black bills) by its long, extremely decurved bill and black (not red) legs and feet. In the field it appears black, except in direct sunlight when a purple sheen is noticeable. The white bar on the primaries is visible in flight. Some individuals, probably juveniles, lack the white primary bar.
Female has a brownish (not glossy black) head and a shorter bill. Juvenile resembles female.
Dry thornveld and open broad-leaved woodland.
A high-pitched, whistling 'sweep-sweep-sweep', and a harsher chattering.


(en) Common scimitarbill
(sc) Rhinopomastus cyanomelas
(nl) Zuidafrikaanse boomhop
(af) Swartbekkakelaar