Family Typical Broadbills (Eurylaimidae)

Near Threatened

Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus)

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Taxonomy

French: Eurylaime à capuchon German: Halsband-Breitrachen Spanish: Eurilaimo negrigualdo
Taxonomy:

Eurylaimus ochromalus

Raffles

, 1822,

Singapore

.

Birds from Banyak Is (off NW Sumatra) described as race mecistus and those from W Borneo (Saribas district of Sarawak) as kalamantan, but considerable individual variation among all populations makes recognition of races inadvisable. Monotypic.

Distribution:

S Myanmar (Tenasserim), SW & S Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Riau Archipelago, Lingga Archipelago, Sumatra (including Banyak Is, Batu Is), Bangka I, Belitung I, N Natuna Is and Borneo (including Pulau Laut, off S coast).

Descriptive notes

13·5–15 cm, 31–39 g. A small, distinctive broadbill with black, white, pink and yellow plumage. Male has black head and upperparts, broad white collar, conspicuous bold yellow markings on back and wings; blackish tail, yellowish spots on central feathers, whiter spots on outer ones; black breastband, rest of underparts vinaceous-pink, fading to pale yellow on belly and undertail-coverts; iris pale yellow; bill bright turquoise to cobalt-blue, green tip of upper mandible, black cutting edges; legs and feet horn-pink to bluish. Female has breastband broken in centre. Juvenile lacks distinct breastband, has pale yellow supercilium, greyish-white underparts.

Drawing by Ian Lewington
Descriptive notes:

13·5–15 cm, 31–39 g. A small, distinctive broadbill with black, white, pink and yellow plumage. Male has black head and upperparts, broad white collar, conspicuous bold yellow markings on back and wings; blackish tail, yellowish spots on central feathers, whiter spots on outer ones; black breastband, rest of underparts vinaceous-pink, fading to pale yellow on belly and undertail-coverts; iris pale yellow; bill bright turquoise to cobalt-blue, green tip of upper mandible, black cutting edges; legs and feet horn-pink to bluish. Female has breastband broken in centre. Juvenile lacks distinct breastband, has pale yellow supercilium, greyish-white underparts.

Drawing by Ian Lewington
Descriptive notes:

13·5–15 cm, 31–39 g. A small, distinctive broadbill with black, white, pink and yellow plumage. Male has black head and upperparts, broad white collar, conspicuous bold yellow markings on back and wings; blackish tail, yellowish spots on central feathers, whiter spots on outer ones; black breastband, rest of underparts vinaceous-pink, fading to pale yellow on belly and undertail-coverts; iris pale yellow; bill bright turquoise to cobalt-blue, green tip of upper mandible, black cutting edges; legs and feet horn-pink to bluish. Female has breastband broken in centre. Juvenile lacks distinct breastband, has pale yellow supercilium, greyish-white underparts.

Voice

Insect-like bubbling trill, similar to that of a cicada (Cicadidae), starts with a few spaced sharp downslurred notes, rises and accelerates gradually into low quivering trill 8–12 seconds long, not unlike trill of E. javanicus but longer, acceleration slower, no introductory whistle, abrupt termination; often both partners call alternately, slightly overlapping; calls in response to sudden loud noises, less so to tape playback; also, plaintive, shrill “peep” by bird in company of trilling pair; other calls include guttural “keowrr” and squeaking “kyeeow”, also “kor kor kor” by male at nest.

Habitat

Wide range of forest types occupied, including evergreen forest, mixed dipterocarp forest, heath-forest, swamp-forest (both freshwater and coastal), forest edge, secondary growth, also overgrown plantations, including cocoa, rubber and Albizia; adapts to logged forest and secondary habitats where large trees remain. To 700 m in Myanmar, Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia, to 900 m in Sumatra and to c. 1220 m in Borneo.

Food and feeding

Primarily insects, including orthopterans (grasshoppers, crickets, katydids), mantises (Mantidae), various beetles (e.g. Cerambycidae, Scarabaeidae), hymenopterans, flies, alate termites (Isoptera), and caterpillars; in Borneo, found to consume smaller orthopterans (length c. 35 mm) than those taken by E. javanicus. Some small molluscs also recorded taken; also, stomach of 1 Bornean specimen contained orange-red berries with large dark pips, but evidence suggests fruit a very incidental component of diet. Small, scattered groups usually forage in middle and upper levels of forest. Flocks of up to 10–15 reported; solitary individual foraging from an exposed perch, usually in open parts of the canopy, may be occupying a lookout position as a member of a dispersed group. Usually sits quietly on perch, searching for prey; makes brief sallies to take prey from leaf surfaces while in flight, returning to different perch. Aerial insects (e.g. termites) sometimes seized in mid-air. Also observed clinging to tree trunks like a woodpecker (Picidae) when foraging. On occasion, individuals briefly join mixed-species foraging flocks.

Breeding

Most records coincide with onset of the dry season, but wide range of dates reported: Feb–Oct on mainland, Jan–Jul in Sumatra and Mar–Aug in Borneo. Large, untidy, pear-shaped hanging nest of moss, fungal mycelia and leaf skeletons, chamber lined with rough grass roots, bamboo leaves and leaf stalks, dimensions of 1 nest c. 17 × 13 × 10 cm, walls c. 3·8 cm thick, entrance hole 5 × 6·4 cm with protruding “step” below, and attached by loops of e.g. cane, grasses or twigs; usually suspended from branch or similar suitable site, including trees in plantations, 5–18 m above ground or water surface, but once in dense lower part of canopy c. 15–20 cm inside edge of foliage; some in Borneo placed close to bees’ nests, this apparently a characteristic site for species there. Clutch 3 eggs, occasionally 2; no information on incubation and fledging periods. Nests sometimes parasitized by cuckoos (Cuculidae): in Peninsular Malaysia records of adults feeding young of Indian Cuckoo (Cuculus micropterus), also of adults feeding unidentified cuckoo fledgling (Sept), and of clutch containing unidentified cuckoo egg; in Borneo, adult female recorded attending fledged Indian Cuckoo (Jul).

Movements

Resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near-threatened. Occurs in Kaeng Krachan National Park and Khao Chong Reserve and Khao Nor Chuchi Wildlife Sanctuary, in Thailand, in Taman Negara National Park and Panti Forest Reserve, in Peninsular Malaysia, and in Kerinci-Seblat and Way Kambas National Parks, in Sumatra. Originally thought to be common to abundant throughout its range, and still considered locally common wherever suitable habitat remains. In Borneo, a study in primary forest near Kuching (Sarawak) indicated a population density of c. 10 birds/km², and recent reports from Sabah suggest that the species survives well in logged forest. In W Sumatran islands all records are pre-1970, but available habitat suggests that it may still be present. Said to have been extirpated in Singapore in 1879, a date based on a single old record, but exact year of its disappearance uncertain; old records from Pinang I (W Malaysia) considered not acceptable, but probably occurred there at some time in the past. Habitat destruction within its range has been severe and extensive, with lowland forest drastically reduced and expected to have been destroyed completely within less than a decade. Despite its tolerance of secondary habitats, the species seems likely to survive in the long term only in protected parts of its range and in higher-lying forested areas.

Recommended citation

Bruce, M.D. & Bonan, A. (2020). Black-and-yellow Broadbill (Eurylaimus ochromalus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/56347 on 28 February 2020).