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Eurylaimidae – Asian and Grauer’s Broadbills

Grauer’s Broadbill in Uganda: Photo by David Pavlik

Eurylaimids, or broadbills, are mid-sized birds found in the forests of Asia and Africa. Known for their wide, flat bills and vibrant plumage, these birds are primarily insectivorous, though they also consume fruit. They typically inhabit the lower and middle levels of the forest canopy, where their striking colors and unique vocalizations make them a fascinating sight and sound.

Overview of Eurylaimidae

The strikingly patterned broadbills of Asia inhabit the forest canopy and are often revealed only by their throaty staccato calls. Their bold plumage features contrasting swatches of black, yellow, and red or green, extending into a large, brightly colored blue or silver bill, making them one of the most visually striking passerines in these forests. Their distinctive bag-like nests hang from long vines or tendrils beneath overhanging branches, often over water or near bee or wasp nests to protect against tree-bound predators. Unlike their green broadbill relatives, these Asian broadbills have African cousins with very different appearances, though little is known about them.