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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Adult (Black-and-red)
Adult (Black-and-red)
Adult (Black-and-red)
Adult (Black-and-red)
Nest (Black-and-red)
Pair of Black-and-red Broadbills.

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.

Juvenile, frontolateral view.

Juveniles are duller than adults. The upperparts are sooty brown with scattered black markings and reddish-maroon patches on the rump and upper tail coverts. 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.

Presumed immature (right), frontal view.

From a young age, the black breastband is well developed, attaining its greenish gloss before the upperparts become black. Younger immatures have browner throats, chin, and ear coverts, while the upperparts still lack the greenish gloss of adults.

Immature, frontal view.
Immature, in hand.

Immatures are 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.

Adult, lateral view.

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.

Adult, frontal view.

Head and upperparts black, the latter with a greenish sheen, separated from the black breastband by a maroon-red half-collar. 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.

Adult, dorsal view.

Rump and uppertail coverts bright maroon. Tail feathers blackish, and strongly graduated.

Frontal view: subspecies siamensis.

Very similar to race malaccensis but said to be shorter winged and to have on average more tail feathers tipped white.

Frontal view: subspecies siamensis.
Dorsal view: subspecies siamensis.
Immature, dorsal view: subspecies siamensis.
Frontal view: subspecies malaccensis.

Red of plumage is marginally paler than nominate, with some orange-yellow spotting on the belly. White bar on the inner webs of the tail feathers is usually well defined, although sometimes restricted to the outer feathers. Slightly smaller than nominate, but larger than siamensis.

Dorsolateral view: subspecies malaccensis.
Immature, lateral view: subspecies malaccensis.
Frontal view: subspecies macrorhynchos.
Dorsal view: subspecies macrorhynchos.
Group perched together.
Group perched together.

Two two brownish juveniles in middle.

Group perched together.
Group perched together.
Adult with nesting material.
Adults nest building.
Adult with nesting material.
Adult on nest.
Bird in nest.

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