Sapayoa Sapayoa aenigma


The Sapayoa is an evolutionary enigma, and its convoluted taxonomic history has included placement in Tyrannidae, Pipridae, and even its own, monotypic family Sapayoaidae. Molecular evidence has revealed that it is in fact the only representative of the broadbills (Eurylaimidae) in the New World. It is otherwise a rather unremarkable bird, with dull green plumage except (in the male) for a yellow crown stripe that is usually concealed. It is surreptitious, and is best detected by scanning carefully through mixed flocks or listening for its soft trill. It feeds on both fruit and insects captured in the air or on vegetation in short sallies. Its nest is a pear-shaped construction of bark with dangling strands and a side entrance. It is restricted to lowland evergreen forest in the Chocó between central Panama and northwestern Ecuador.


Help complete this species

There are many ways to contribute—we need species information, photographs, audio, video, translations, maps, distribution data, and bird sightings. There's a role for everyone!

Learn more


© Justin M Hite

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Sapayoa (Sapayoa aenigma), In Neotropical Birds Online (, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: