Sharpbills are scattered in discontinuous patches in Central America and South America. This curious dispersal may mark the remnants of a more widespread and continuous historical distribution.

In Central America, sharpbills inhabit northwest and central Costa Rica, including the Dota Mountains, and a majority of Panama. In South America, the species ranges from the Pantepui of southern Venezuela, Guyana, and Suriname, to northeastern and southeastern Brazil, including the Amazon. Sharpbills are also found in southern Paraguay and in central and eastern Peru.

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