As late as the 1980s, the sharpbill was one of the last avian families whose mating and nesting habits remained a mystery. The first nest was not found until 1980, and courtship behavior has been rarely, if ever, observed. In their observations of the Costa Rican sharpbill, Stiles and Whitney concluded that some of the male activity, including perching hopefully next to females and following them into the foliage, qualified as courtship behavior.
The sharpbill breeding season probably occurs at the same time as its singing season. This extends from late February or early May, to late May, or early June.
The nest described by Brooke, Scott, and Teixeira was built by a female near the top of a 100-ft (30-m) tree in southeastern Brazil, 30 mi (50 km) from Rio de Janeiro. It consisted of a simple, shallow cup 3 in (7.8 cm) in diameter, slung underneath a slim horizontal branch. A thin outer surface of mosses, spider's webs, liverworts, and leaves may have been held together and suspended by dried saliva. Two eggs were incubated for 14-24 days, and the female fed the young by regurgitation. Observations suggested a nestling period of 25-30 days.
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