Order II. EURYLAEMI.

Palate aegithognathous (Vol. I, p. 4). The deep plantar tendons differ from those of the Passeres in the flexor longus hallucis being connected by a vinculum with the flexor profundus digitorum, as-shown in the accompanying figure (fig. 2). Syrinx mesomyodian (Vol. I, p. 6) and oligomyodian as in Pittidae (Forbes, P. Z. S. 1880, p. 384). The sternum, as in the Passeres, has but one notch on each side of the hinder border (Sclater, Ibis, 1872, p. 179, also p. 370), but the manubrium sterni (spina externa) is unforked, as in most non-Passerine birds. Oil-gland present but nude.

The relations of the Eurylaemi or Broadbills to other birds have long been in dispute. At one time members of the present group were referred to the neighbourhood of Coracias. But, chiefly through the researches of Blanchard, Garrod, and Forbes, the close alliance between the Eurylaemi and Passerine birds has now been ascertained, and the only question remaining is whether the Broadbills should be included in the Passerine group as a distinct section, or whether they should form a suborder or order apart. The latter is the view advocated by Seebohm and Sharpe, and accepted, as a provisional arrangement, in the present work. There is but a single family, confined to the Oriental region.

The Broadbills are forest birds living generally in small flocks amongst high trees, and feeding as a rule on insects. They are often remarkably tame, some of them being, it is said, so unwilling to move that several out of the same flock may be shot one after the other, without the survivors being alarmed. They build large round nests of grass and fibres, somewhat resembling those of the Nectariniidae, suspended from a fine twig and with an opening at the side (fig. 1). The eggs as a rule are white or cream-coloured, much speckled, especially towards the larger end, but occasionally they are spotless.

The genera in this family are more distinct than is usually the case amongst Birds, each being distinguished by a peculiar type of Coloration. No species occur in the Peninsula of India, nor in Ceylon, but the range of the family extends from the Western Himalayas to the Philippines and Borneo, the majority inhabiting the Malay Peninsula.

Key to the Genera.

a. Nostrils exposed.
a1. Tail shorter than wing.
a2. Sides of upper mandible convex and overhanging.
a3. Region below eye feathered……………………… EURYLAEMUS, p. 3.
b3. Region below eye nude; bill very broad………………………CORYDON, p. 5.
b2. Sides of upper mandible straight, not overhanging.
c3. Nostrils elongate, about 1/3 length of bill from forehead………………………CYMBORHYNCHUS, p. 7.
d3. Nostrils rounded, at base of bill………………………SERILOPHUS, p. 8.
b1. Tail longer than wing………………………PSARISOMUS, p. 11.
b. Nostrils concealed by loral plumes………………………CALYPTOMENA, p. 12.

BookTitle: 
The Fauna Of British India including Ceylon and Burma
Reference: 
Blanford, William Thomas, ed. The Fauna of British India: Including Ceylon and Burma. Vol.3 1895.
Title in Book: 
Order II. EURYLAEMI.
Book Author: 
William Thomas Blanford
Year: 
1895
Page No: 
1
Volume: 
vol. 3
id: 
1278

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