Broadbills Eurylaimidae

Class: Aves Order: Passeriformes Family: Eurylaimidae Number of species: 15 species



Broadbills are small- to medium-sized, stockily built birds with large eyes; a broad bill (from which they get the name) that is rounded along its sides, flattened from front to back, hooked at the end, and with a wide gap; rounded wings; a rather short, square tail (except for one species with a fine-pointed tail); short legs; strong, syndactylous (sin-DACK-tuh-lus; with fused digits) feet; and long, hooked claws. There is much difference among the species in the color of their plumage (feathers). Most birds are very colorful although some are rather dull looking, with colors ranging from browns with gray or black (in most African species) to green, red, blue, black, or silvery gray with many areas of bright colors (in most Asian species). Some species have an area of bare skin around the eyes that is sometimes pink or blue. Males and females look alike in some species but look different in others. Adults are 4.5 to 10.8 inches (11.5 to 27.5 centimeters) long and weigh between 0.4 and 6 ounces (10 and 171 grams).


Broadbills are found in sub-Saharan Africa, Himalayan portions of India, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, far southern China (also Hainan Island), Borneo, Sumatra, Java, peninsular Malaysia, and the Philippines.


Broadbills inhabit mostly humid tropical and subtropical lowlands (including evergreen or mostly evergreen broad-leaved phylum class subclass order monotypic order suborder family lowland forests), while a few species are located in montane (mountain) forests and one species is found in dry climates. They move with the change of seasons to mountain areas when food becomes scarce.

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