Broadbills are brightly coloured birds that feed on fruit and also take insects in flycatcher fashion, snapping their broad bills. Their habitat is canopies of wet forests, so despite their colours, they are difficult to observe.
Their nest is a purse-shaped structure built in a tree, into which typically 2–3 eggs are laid.
The Smithornis and Pseudocalyptomena species occur in tropical Africa; the rest extend from the eastern Himalayas to Sumatra and Borneo.
The Sapayoa was originally classified in the group Pipridae, according to Sapayoa aenigma: a New World representative of 'Old World suboscines' the genus more accurately fits the broadbill family.
In addition to the Sapayoa, which if included would be in its own subfamily, there are four other subfamilies of broadbill:
- The typical African broadbills, Smithornithinae (containing three species in a single genus, Smithornis)
- The Asian green broadbills, Calyptomeninae (containing three species in a single genus, Calyptomena)
- Grauer's Broadbill, Pseudocalyptomeninae
- The typical Asian broadbills, Eurylaiminae (the remaining five genera, containing eight species)
- Broad-billed Sapayoa, Sapayoa aenigma
African Broadbill, Smithornis capensis
Gray-headed Broadbill, Smithornis sharpei
Rufous-sided Broadbill, Smithornis rufolateralis
Grauer's Broadbill, Pseudocalyptomena graueri
Dusky Broadbill, Corydon sumatranus
Black-and-red Broadbill, Cymbirhynchus macrorhynchos
Banded Broadbill, Eurylaimus javanicus
Black-and-yellow Broadbill, Eurylaimus ochromalus
Wattled Broadbill, Eurylaimus steerii
Visayan Broadbill, Eurylaimus samarensis
Long-tailed Broadbill, Psarisomus dalhousiae
Silver-breasted Broadbill, Serilophus lunatus
Green Broadbill, Calyptomena viridis
Hose's Broadbill, Calyptomena hosei
Whitehead's Broadbill Calyptomena whiteheadi