The common scimitarbill is mainly black with violet wings and a black bill. The females and juveniles have brownish breast and throat. They are medium sized (24 - 28 cm) long.

Habitat and Distribution

It is found in broad leaf woodlands and thronvelds of Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Somalia, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.


They mainly feed on insects in large trees by probing with their bills in rotten wood and in crevices in bark.


They nest in unlined tree holes, laying two to four eggs, which are blue, grey, or olive, and unmarked.

Calls and Songs

It's call sounds like pwep-pwep-pwep-pwep.