The Scimitarbill is indeed a bird and not an invoice for mechanical repairs on a sports car. It should also not be confused with a backsword or sabre with a curved blade although I believe this is where its name originates because of its beak!
It is among three species of Scimitarbill all of which are often classified in the Woodhoopoo family. They are The Common Scimitarbill, The Black Scimitarbill and The Abbysinian Scimitarbill.
Where is the Scimitarbill found?
The Scimitar is found at Footsteps all year round.
Outside of our lodge, it can be found in two main populations, one extending from West Africa eastwards to Ethiopia and the other in Angola and adjacent countries. They like open woodland, savannah, or thorn brush, and found mostly in trees
What does it look like?
They are smaller than most woodhoopoes and their bills are strongly curved like a scimitar, giving them their name. They are mostly glossy black in colour with a few white markings on the wings. Source Wikipedia. They are between 23 and 46 cm in length with a good amount of that accounted for by the tail.
What does it feed on?
They feed mainly on insects and other invertebrates. Basically anything without a backbone, which they find by using their bills to probe into holes and small nooks and cranny’s..
Want to know an interesting Factoid?
While other Wood-hoopoes are social birds which gather in large numbers, the Scimitarbills are mostly observed alone or in pairs.
How does it sound?
They have a delightful three-noted whistle, Wheeep, Wheeep, Wheeep.