Eurylaimidae – Broadbills

Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae ©JJ Harrison (Creative Commons) Website

The broadbills are a clade of small passerine birds, Eurylaimidae (named after the type genus Eurylaimus). The Smithornis and Pseudocalyptomena species occur in sub-Saharan Africa; the rest extend from the eastern Himalayas to Indonesia and the Philippines. The family used to include the sapayoa from the Neotropics but this has now been assigned its own family. Formerly the asities from Madagascar, were included although most sources now treat these as a separate family too.

Many of the broadbills are brightly coloured and have broad heads, large eyes and a hooked, flat and broad beak. They live in the dense canopies of wet forests, allowing them to be inconspicuous despite their brightly coloured plumage. The plumage of the juveniles eurylaimids are similar to those of the adults, differing in being duller and shorter-winged and shorter-tailed in some cases.

They are mostly insectivorous and carnivorous. Prey taken include insects, spiders, centipedes, and millipedes, as well as lizards and tree frogs, usually obtained by sallying from a perch to snatch insects in flight, or by gleaning the prey off leaves and branches while flying. Some species may take some fruit, but only the green broadbills of the genus Calyptomena and the Grauer’s broadbill are primarily frugivores (also taking some insects).

They are generally gregarious, with many species moving about in flocks of about 20 individuals. Broadbills attach their purse-shaped nests to suspended vines, and leave a tail of fibres hanging below it. This gives the nest the appearance of being random debris caught in the tree, an effect further enhanced by the birds covering the nest with lichen and spider webs. Broadbills typically lay two to three eggs.

There are 15 species in this family; they are listed below.

Species List

African Broadbill Smithornis capensis
Grey-headed Broadbill Smithornis sharpei
Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis

Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis
Hose’s Broadbill Calyptomena hosii
Whitehead’s Broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi

Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos

Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae

Silver-breasted Broadbill Serilophus lunatus

Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus
Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus
Wattled (Mindanao) Broadbill Eurylaimus steerii
Visayan Broadbill Eurylaimus samarensis

Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus

Grauer’s Broadbill (African Green Broadbil) Pseudocalyptomena graueri

Species Links
  • African Broadbill Smithornis capensis

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution maps...
  • African Broadbill Smithornis capensis

    Species Account
    The African broadbill, also known as the Black-capped Broadbill or Delacour's broadbill (Smithornis capensis) is a species of bird in the sub-oscine family Eurylaimidae...
  • African Broadbill Smithornis capensis

    Article
    African Broadbill Smithornis capensis is an uncommon endemic resident in Africa. It is the only broadbill in the southern African subregion and inhabits a variety of habitats, including dense woodland, riparian forest, miombo woodland, lower storeys of evergreen forest, and deciduous thickets...
  • Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus

    Species Account
    Banded Broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family...
  • Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Banded Broadbill Eurylaimus javanicus

    Species Account
    The banded broadbill (Eurylaimus javanicus) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is found in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is a large broadbill (21.5–23 cm), with purple, yellow and black plumage. It eats predominantly insects, including grasshoppers, crickets, katydids, various beetles, caterpillars and larvae...
  • Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos

    Image
  • Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos

    Species Account
    Black-and-red Broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family...
  • Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos

    Species Account
    The black-and-red broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) is a species of bird in the broadbill family. It is monotypic within the genus Cymbirhynchus. It is found in Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.
  • Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus

    Image
    ...of nest
  • Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus

    IUCN Species Status
    This species is likely to be declining moderately rapidly throughout its range as a result of the continuing destruction and degradation of forest habitats. It is therefore considered Near Threatened.
  • Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Black-and-yellow Broadbill Eurylaimus ochromalus

    Species Account
    The black-and-yellow broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is found in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, and Thailand. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests and subtropical or tropical moist montane forests. It is threatened by habitat loss...
  • Common Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis coruscans

    Genus Account
    Neodrepanis is a bird genus in the asity family Philepittidae, the sunbird-asities.
  • Common Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis coruscans

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Common Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis coruscans

    Species Account
    Bibliography
  • Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus

    Species Account
    The dusky broadbill (Corydon sumatranus) is a species of bird in the family Eurylaimidae, the broadbills. It is native to Southeast Asia. It may be slowly declining due to habitat loss, especially from logging, but it has a large enough range that it is still considered to be a least-concern species...
  • Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus

    Image
  • Dusky Broadbill Corydon sumatranus

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution Map
  • Grauer's Broadbill (African Green Broadbil) Pseudocalyptomena graueri

    IUCN Species Status
    This species has a small and fragmented range, within which its montane forest habitat continues to be degraded and cleared. Therefore it is likely to have a small and declining population, and is classified as Vulnerable.
  • Grauer's Broadbill (African Green Broadbil) Pseudocalyptomena graueri

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Grauer's Broadbill (African Green Broadbil) Pseudocalyptomena graueri

    Species Account
    The Grauer's broadbill or African green broadbill (Pseudocalyptomena graueri) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family, and is monotypic within the genus Pseudocalyptomena.[3] Its name commemorates the German zoologist Rudolf Grauer who collected natural history specimens in the Belgian Congo
  • Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis

    IUCN Species Status
    Although this species remains common in many parts of its large range, it is considered Near Threatened as it is highly sensitive to habitat loss and degradation, which are likely to have caused moderately rapid population declines throughout its range.
  • Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis

    Species Account
    The green broadbill (Calyptomena viridis) also known as the lesser green broadbill is a small bird in the broadbill family....
  • Green Broadbill Calyptomena viridis

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Grey-headed Broadbill Smithornis sharpei

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Grey-headed Broadbill Smithornis sharpei

    Species Account
    The grey-headed broadbill (Smithornis sharpei) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is found in Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and Nigeria. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
  • Horsfield's Broadbill (Purple-headed Broadbill) Eurylaimus javanicus brookei

    Image
  • Hose's Broadbill Calyptomena hosii

    IUCN Species Status
    This species is likely to be in moderately rapid decline owing to habitat loss and degradation in the lower parts of its elevation range, and is therefore considered Near Threatened.
  • Hose's Broadbill Calyptomena hosii

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Hose's Broadbill Calyptomena hosii

    Species Account
    Hose's broadbill (Calyptomena hosii) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It was named after zoologist Charles Hose. It is endemic to highland forests in northern Borneo.[2] It is threatened by habitat loss. It has a blue belly, but otherwise it resembles the other members of the genus Calyptomena.
  • Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae

    Species Account
    The long-tailed broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) is a species of broadbill that is found in the Himalayas, extending east through Northeastern India to Southeast Asia. It is the only bird in the genus Psarisomus. The long-tailed broadbill is about 25 cm (10 inches) in length and weighs between 50 and 60 grams. It can be identified by its shrill call...
  • Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae

    Image
    Like something from a Disney cartoon, the striking colours of Long-tailed Broadbill can hardly fail to impress as one flicks through Robson's Field Guide to the Birds of Thailand or Lekagul & Round's Guide to the Birds of Thailand in preparation for ones first birding trip to Thailand.
  • Long-tailed Broadbill Psarisomus dalhousiae

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis

    Species Account
    The rufous-sided broadbill (Smithornis rufolateralis) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is found in Angola, Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Sudan, Togo, and Uganda. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.
  • Rufous-sided Broadbill Smithornis rufolateralis

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Sapayoa Sapayoa aenigma

    Species Account
    In tropical lowland forests from Panama to northwest Ecuador lives an American enigma. Its formal name is Sapayoa aenigma; even this means "enigma" in Latin. It is an inconspicuous, dull-colored bird of the forest understory where it is rare to uncommon. The bird is now known as Sapayoa...
  • Sapayoa Sapayoa aenigma

    Species Account
    The Sapayoa (Sapayoa aenigma) is an elusive bird of the pristine forest streams of the foothills of eastern Panama. It is a small (14 cm, 5.5 in.) olive-yellow, flycatcher-like bird with a yellowish throat and crown patch.
  • Sapayoa Sapayoa aenigma

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Sapayoa Sapayoa aenigma

    Species Account
    The sapayoa or broad-billed sapayoa (Sapayoa aenigma) is a suboscine passerine found in lowland rainforests in Panama and northwest South America. As the epithet aenigma ('the enigma') implies, its relationships have long been elusive. It is easy to overlook, but appears to be common in a wide range and is not considered threatened by the IUCN...
  • Sapayoa Sapayoa aenigma

    Cornell Species Account
    The Sapayoa is an evolutionary enigma, and its convoluted taxonomic history has included placement in Tyrannidae, Pipridae, and even its own, monotypic family Sapayoaidae. Molecular evidence has revealed that it is in fact the only representative of the broadbills (Eurylaimidae) in the New World.
  • Schlegel's Asity Philepitta schlegeli

    Species Account
    The Schlegel's asity (Philepitta schlegeli) is a species of bird in the Philepittidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.
  • Schlegel's Asity Philepitta schlegeli

    IUCN Species Status
    A small, round frugivore. Males are black on the head, with a large lobed wattle that is green behind and in front of the eye and blue in the centre. The back is green with a yellow collar, and the underparts are bright yellow. The female is green above, pale yellow streaked darker below, and lacks the wattles, but has a narrow pale flesh eyering. The tail is rather short.
  • Schlegel's Asity Philepitta schlegeli

    Species Account
    Sound archive & distribution map
  • Schlegel's Asity Philepitta schlegeli

    Species Account
    The Schlegel's asity (Philepitta schlegeli) is a species of bird in the Philepittidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests and subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests. It is threatened by habitat loss.
  • Silver-breasted Broadbill Serilophus lunatus

    Image
  • Silver-breasted Broadbill Serilophus lunatus

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Silver-breasted Broadbill Serilophus lunatus

    Species Account
    The silver-breasted broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) is a species of bird in the broadbill family Eurylaimidae. It is monotypic (the only species) within the genus Serilophus.[2] There are ten currently recognised subspecies, one of which, rubropygius, was formerly treated as a separate species...
  • Velvet Asity Philepitta castanea

    Species Account
    The velvet asity (Philepitta castanea) is a species of bird in the Philepittidae family. It is endemic to Madagascar.
  • Velvet Asity Philepitta castanea

    Species Account
    Bibliography
  • Velvet Asity Philepitta castanea

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Visayan Broadbill Eurylaimus samarensis

    Image
  • Visayan Broadbill Eurylaimus samarensis

    Species Account
    The Visayan broadbill (Eurylaimus samarensis) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is endemic to the islands of Samar, Leyte and Bohol in the central Philippines.
  • Wattled (Mindanao) Broadbill Eurylaimus steerii

    IUCN Species Status
    17 cm. Small, brightly coloured passerine. Black throat and face. Green eye surrounded by large, prominent sky-blue wattle. Large, broad, pale blue bill. Maroon-purple crown, bordered by white nuchal collar. Dark grey mantle, bright chestnut rump and tail. Black wings with prominent white and yellow bar across tertials and secondaries. Lilac underparts becoming yellowish-white on lower belly. Female as male but gleaming white breast and belly. Juvenile duller. Voice Unknown. Hints Unobtrusive, joins mixed feeding flocks. Frequents understorey and middle layers of forest.
  • Wattled (Mindanao) Broadbill Eurylaimus steerii

    Species Account
  • Wattled (Mindanao) Broadbill Eurylaimus steerii

    Species Account
    The wattled broadbill or Mindanao broadbill (Eurylaimus steerii) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is endemic to the islands of Mindanao, Basilan, Dinagat and Siargao in the Philippines...
  • Whitehead's Broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi

    Image
  • Whitehead's Broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Whitehead's Broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi

    Species Account
    The Whitehead's broadbill (Calyptomena whiteheadi) is a species of bird in the Eurylaimidae family. It is restricted to montane forest in northern Borneo. It is the largest member of the genus Calyptomena. It is named after the British explorer John Whitehead (1860–1899) who collected natural history specimens in Borneo and elsewhere in Southeast Asia.
  • Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha

    Species Account
    he yellow-bellied sunbird-asity (Neodrepanis hypoxantha) is a small species of passerine bird from the asity family. The male has black upper parts with a bluish sheen and yellow underparts, and is sometimes known simply as the yellow-bellied asity. It is found only in montane rainforests of Madagascar...
  • Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha

    IUCN Species Status
    9-10 cm. Tiny, brilliantly-coloured bird with very short tail and fine, fairly long and decurved bill. Males have blackish upperparts, edged iridescent blue. Underparts are unsullied yellow, bill and legs blackish...
  • Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha

    Species Account
    Sound archive and distribution map
  • Yellow-bellied Sunbird-Asity Neodrepanis hypoxantha

    Species Account
    The yellow-bellied sunbird-asity (Neodrepanis hypoxantha) is a small species of passerine bird from the asity family. The male has black upper parts with a bluish sheen and yellow underparts, and is sometimes known simply as the yellow-bellied asity. It is found only in montane rainforests of Madagascar where it feeds on nectar that it sips from flowers, defending a good nectar source from other nectar-feeding birds. It is listed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature as "vulnerable" due to the diminution and fragmentation of its forest habitat.
Number of Species
  • Number of bird species: 15

Useful Reading
  • Pittas, Broadbills & Asities

    | By Frank Lambert & Martin Woodcock | Pica Press | 1996 | Hardback | 271 pages, 24 colour plates, line illustrations, maps | ISBN: 9781873403242 Buy this book from NHBS.com

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