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Rufous-sided Broadbill - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Red Broadbill; Red-sided Broadbill

Photo by megan perkins
Ankasa, Western Ghana, February 2011
Smithornis rufolateralis


11,5 - 13,5cm.

  • Black head
  • Rufescent brown upperparts marked with extensive black
  • Blackish wing-coverts with two broken white wing-bars
  • Blackish-brown tail
  • Silky white underparts with bright orange patch on side on breast and black streaking

Females with rufous-tinged dark brown head and rufous-brown upperparts with little or no black markings.

Similar species

Smaller than Grey-headed Broadbill which has no white wing-bars and a blue-grey crown.


From eastern Sierra Leone east to central Africa (east to western Uganda, south to northern Angola).
Locally common, scarce in other areas.



Two subspecies recognised[1]:

The two subspecies are very similar and the species should probably be treated as monotypic.
Sometimes considered to form a superspecies with African Broadbill but Grey-headed Broadbill is possibly more closely related to African Broadbill than this species.


Dense primary and secondary forest in lowlands. Occurs up to 1500m. Often found near water.


Feeds on insects and other arthropods.
Forages usually between 3 and 15m above the ground, often taking flying insects. Rarely in mixed-species flocks.
Breeding season differs through range. The nest is a bag made of dead leaves, bamboo leaves, plant fibres, mossy roots, dry twigs or other material. It's suspendend from a branch or creeper, 1 to 2 m above the ground. Lays 1 - 2 eggs.
A resident species.


  1. Clements, JF. 2011. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to August 2011. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334504

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