As the name suggests, these are birds with very conspicuous bills. Short & broad. More important to note is the ostentatious colors that it has for its bill. The bright colors simple punctuate the profile. Almost all of them, not gaudy, are very tastefully colorful. Most birders would agree with me that they are considered as one of the more beautiful birds.  4 of the species are generally small, just below that of an average sized bird. The long-tailed Broadbill with its tail looks very prominent  as a fair size bird. The exception to this rule is the Dusky Broadbill. This bird is large, dark colored and comes with an "ugly" call as well.

Worldwide there are 8 species - of which 7 species can be found in South-east Asia. We are lucky indeed, Malaysia can be hailed as a Broadbill country. We could easily spot all the species that could be seen in this region.

Learn more about my experiences with these birds as you browse through their pictures below.


  1. Banded Broadbill   
  2. Black-and-red Broadbill  
  3. Black-and-yellow Broadbill  
  4. Dusky Broadbill  
  5. Green Broadbill  
  6. Long-tailed Broadbill  
  7. Silver-breasted Broadbill   


Broadbills are colorful and also beautiful looking birds. If they are within the area where bird watching is done, the birds then are easily located. This ease of finding them gives the impression that Broadbills are common birds. On the contrary it is fairly difficult to find the places where Broadbill hang out, not forgetting having the need of prior knowledge as to the timing when they should be around. A good example would be the fact that I am still waiting for more pictures of the Long-tailed Broadbill.

The existence of Broadbill in the area is the evidences of old nests hanging from the trees, left over from the last session or the current breeding season. This search is almost completed immediately as the preferred location are vantage points over road that is running through dense forest. Then in the right season, the calls from the birds would be heard. From the calls, the species of Broadbill available could be ascertained.

Most broadbills are not shy bird, meaning the bird would not feel threatened and fly away instantaneously upon being spotted. On the contrary, the bird would remain still for a while. The main problem would be the small size of the bird and the clever way it chooses its perch. I could feel that they were always very close but couldn't locate them until they decide to leave their safe perch and away to another one further away.


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