Red-billed Scythebill Campylorhamphus trochilirostris

Brazilian name: Arapaçu-beija-flor

Red-billed Scythebill, Minas Gerais, Brazil, February 2002 - click for larger image Brazil

The Red-billed Scythebill is the most widespread and common of the scythebills, a genus of woodcreepers with remarkably shaped bills.

It is found from Panama to northern Argentina except in the Guianas and throughout most of the Amazon Basin. It forages fairly low down in forest and woodland including caatinga and chaco. They often accompany mixed flocks.

Red-billed Scythebill, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil, October 2008 - click for larger image The extraordinary bill has presumably evolved to help it hunt for insects in places where a normal bill could not reach such as bromeliads and the inside of bamboo stems. Having caught its prey in the tips of its bill it then throws back its head and drops the prey into its mouth.

There are recordings on xeno-canto, a distribution map from NatureServe and additional information available via Avibase. There is also a page on Wikiaves.

Red-billed Scythebill, Chapada Diamantina, Bahia, Brazil, October 2008 - click for larger image
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