Broadbills of the Thai-Malay Peninsula: Nesting

on 4th July 2008

An earlier post dealt with the seven species of broadbills seen in the Thai-Malay Peninsula. This post deals with some of their nests.

The nest is an untidy woven structure, globular to oval, or pouched-shaped. It is hung some distance from the ground from overhanging branches. There is a side entrance, sometimes with a crude porch. The base of the nest is untidy, with strands of plant materials hanging loose. The inside of the nesting cavity is lined with green leaves. In many instances, the completed nest is adorned with bryophytes, spider silk and cocoon silk. This works well as a camouflage.


The nests of the Black-and-red (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos) (above left), Dusky (Corydon sumatranus) (above right), Long-tailed (Psarisomus dalhousiae) (below left) and Silver-breasted (Serilophus lunatus) (below right) are shown here.


Both parents help in nest construction, but with the Green Broadbill it is reported that only the female is involved (Bruce, 2003). Depending on species, nest construction can take between one to seven weeks, as the birds may collect nesting materials in small amounts. Generally, the birds do not reuse the old nests.

Much of their habits and behaviour have yet to be recorded. The birds are both insectivorous and carnivorous. The recent posting of the Silver-breasted swallowing a cicada is a new feeding record.

Input and images by Willis

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.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Overall visits (since 2005)

Live visitors
Visitors Today

Clustrmaps (since 2016)