Broadbills make up a small group of tropical birds of the family Eurylamidae. There are a total of 15 species, mostly brightly coloured. Eleven species are from Southeast Asia while the remaining four are African species. The Thai-Malay Peninsula claims seven species.
Singapore used to have five species: Black-and-red (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) (above left), Black-and-yellow (Eurylaimus ochromalus) (above right), Banded (Eurylaimus javanicus) (below left), Dusky (Corydon sumatranus) (below right) and Green (Calyptomena viridis) (top). They are all extinct now.
Peninsular Malaysia and Thailand still have seven species, the five above as well as Long-tailed (Psarisomus dalhousiae) (below left) and Silver-breasted (Serilophus lunatus) (below right).
Broadbills are so-called because they have a large, broad, flat, hooked bill and a wide gape. All the seven species are found in rainforests. They are more often heard than seen. And all are distinctly brightly coloured – and cute.
Willis, Dr Eric Tan & Mark Chua
(Images: Black-and-red, Black-yellow and Long-tailed by Dr Eric Tan; Banded, Dusky and Silver-breasted by Willis; and Green Broadbill by Mark Chua)
1. Bruce, M. D. (2003). Family Eurylaimidae (broadbills). Pp.54-93 in: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 8. Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Editions.
2. Wells, D.R. (2007). The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London.
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