Black-and-red Broadbill Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos Scientific name definitions

Guy M. Kirwan, Josep del Hoyo, Murray D. Bruce, and Nigel Collar
Version: 2.0 — Published March 12, 2021


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A large dichromatic bird with a black head, upperparts, and wings, contrasting with a maroon-red half-collar, underparts (broken by a black breast-band) and rump. At rest, the elongated and pointed white scapulars appear as a straight white line. The tail feathers are black with variable amounts of white, which generally becomes less extensive in the species’ southern range. Sexes are similar.

Similar Species

Appearance unique and unmistakable, even in rather poor views. Vocally, this species could be confused with the Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus), which also delivers an ascending trill-like song, but the equivalent vocalization of the present species is shorter and much slower.


Natal down



Much duller than the adult. The upperparts are sooty brown with scattered black markings and reddish-maroon patches on the rump and upper tail coverts. From a young age, the black breastband is well developed, attaining its greenish gloss before the upperparts become black. Underparts brown, with red feathers gradually molting through, initially on the lower throat and the center of the lower breast to belly. Wings are brown, but with the orange leading edge of adults, and white patches on the outer webs of the scapulars, but not pointed or elongated like those of the adult (1).


Only distinguishable from adults by the browner upperwing coverts, tertials and remiges, and by the presence of white spots at the tips of the median coverts, forming two diffuse lines on the closed wing. Younger immatures also typically have browner throats, chin, and ear coverts, while the upperparts still lack the greenish gloss of adults (1).


Head and upperparts black, the latter with a greenish sheen, separated from the black breastband by a maroon-red half-collar. Rump and uppertail coverts bright maroon. Upperwing coverts black with a glossy blue-green sheen to the edges of the feathers. Scapulars are elongated and pointed, largely pure white on their outer webs; on the closed wing, these form a long white line from near the wing bend to halfway along the folded tips of the secondaries. Remiges blackish with a concealed white bar at the base of the inner webs of all but the outermost two primaries, and broad white basal bar along the edge of the outer web of the secondaries. A narrow bright orange-yellow line at bend of wing is usually visible at close range. Underparts are well demarcated: the throat and chin are dull black, breastband glossy black; and rest of underparts maroon-red. Adults of all subspecies occasionally display orange-yellow blotches on the flanks and belly, sometimes also on the rump and ear coverts. Tail feathers blackish, and strongly graduated, sometimes with a white patch on the terminal part of the inner web of the outermost 1–2 pairs of rectrices. Females are separable only by their slightly smaller size (1, 2).


Nothing known.

Bare Parts


Large with a slightly hooked tip: maxilla bright turquoise-blue, mandible yellow-orange with blue cutting edges and tip, bordered by a narrow line of greenish. Has quite well-developed rictal bristles (20–25 mm) at base of bill. Bill of juvenile is much duller: maxilla blackish with a dirty bluish base, the mandible brownish blue, and inside of mouth is bright orange (1, 2).

Iris and Facial Skin

In adults, iris is a vivid emerald green, but juveniles it is bronze (1). Wells (2) describes the color of immature males’ irises as purple with a blue inner ring.

Tarsi and Toes

Bright blue in adults, sometimes tinged violet, while those of juveniles are a duller blue gray (2).


Linear Measurements

Overall length 21–24 cm (1).

Linear measurements, in mm, of birds from the Malay Peninsula (from Wells 2):

Males (n = 47)

Females (n = 43)

Wing length



Tail length



Bill length



Tarsus length



Additional data, from Lambert and Woodcock (1); subspecies, sex, and sample sizes not given: wing length 100–108 mm; tail length 83–94 mm; bill length 30.5–33.0 mm (presumably measured to skull); bill width 18.5–22.0 mm; tarsus 23.0–25.5 mm.


Birds from Cat Tien National Park (Vietnam) weighed 51–65 g (n = 30) (3); from the Malay Peninsula (2): adult males 53.0–63.3 g (n = 3); adult females 53.4–55.2 g (n = 3); unsexed 50.3–65.0 g (sample size not stated). Lambert and Woodcock (1) suggested a broader mass range for the species (sample size unknown) of 50.0–76.5 g.

Recommended Citation

Kirwan, G. M., J. del Hoyo, M.D. Bruce, and N. Collar (2021). Black-and-red Broadbill (Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (M. A. Bridwell and B. K. Keeney, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.barbro1.02