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 Avidiversity  AVITOPIA - Boatbills

Scientific system: Clements et al.

Familia: Machaerirhynchidae

You can get "Checklist of the Boatbills of Planet Earth" as an e-book here.


The two species of the family of Boatbills are endemic to New Guinea and northern Queensland. They were previously assigned to the Monarchs, but phylogenetic studies have only shown a distant relationship. Boatbills have a body length of 11 cm to 15 cm. The upper side of the plumage is dark olive to black, the underside is yellow to white. The females are duller colored. The tail is long and is often cocked. The bill is unusually flat and wide with a keel on the upper mandible. The typical posture is horizontal. Their habitat are forests and forest edges. They live almost exclusively on insects. Their nests are built very loosely by both sexes and held together with cobwebs, so that the 2 to 3 eggs of the clutch are sometimes visible through the walls of the nest. The nest is in a horizontal fork of a branch at medium height. Little is known about the rearing of the young.

Machaerirhynchus

     nigripectus - Black-breasted Boatbill (2)
     flaviventer - Yellow-breasted Boatbill (4)

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