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Oxyruncidae – Sharpbill, Royal Flycatcher, and Allies

Tropical Royal Flycatcher in Belize: Photo by Stefano Ianiro

Oxyruncidae consists of about eight species found in the tropical forests of Central and South America. This small family is characterized by its distinctive sharp bill, which it uses to forage for fruit and insects. Sharpbills are elusive and often remain hidden in the forest canopy, making them difficult to observe.

Overview of Oxyruncidae

The array of birds within this family is intriguing, featuring species previously grouped with New World flycatchers or classified within their own distinct families. From the captivating yet perplexing crown display of the Tropical Royal Flycatcher to the mysterious Sharpbill, which puzzled taxonomists for years, these birds are distributed across Central and South America. They inhabit a range of habitats, from lowland tropical forests to montane cloud forests.