Broadbills and their diet

posted in: Feeding-invertebrates | 2

Broadbills (Family: Eurylaimidae) are generally insectivorous and carnivorous. Their broad, hook-tipped bill and wide gape are well adapted for such a diet. A few species take fruit and other plant matter as a supplement. However, green broadbills of the genus Calyptomena are specialist frugivores, as seen in the reduced bill size. During breeding periods when there is a demand for a protein-rich diet, they take insects.

Much of their food records come from the study of stomach contents and field observations. Insects taken include grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies and moths as well as their eggs and larvae. In addition, small invertebrates like spiders, millipedes, snails and small crustaceans have also been reported. They also take small vertebrates like small tree frogs and lizards, and even a small fish has been reported.

Myron Tay’s image shows a Long-tailed Broadbill (Psarisomus dalhousiae) eating a centipede (top). The Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus) eating a caterpillar (above left) is by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HHS shows

Our earlier posts include a Black-and-yellow Broadbill taking a caterpillar and a Silver-breasted Broadbill (Serilophus lunatus) swallowing a cicada.

Bruce, M. D. (2003). Family Eurylaimidae (broadbills). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. & Christie, D. A. eds. Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 8. Broadbills to Tapaculos. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp.54-93.

2 Responses

  1. Godfrey

    Just curious, does that mean during non-breeding periods…. green broadbills will not take insects even if they are readily available?

  2. YC

    Being specialist frugivores, Calyptomena generally take fruits. I am sure they also take insects if the opportunity arises.

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