Green Bee-eater

Green Bee-eater
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis, Yunnan, China. (Craig Brelsford)

Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis ranges West Africa to Vietnam, with ferrugeiceps in western and southern Yunnan. HABITAT & BEHAVIOR Dry, open country in lowlands and hills, to 1500 m (4,920 ft.). Perches on dead branches and power lines. Usually in pairs or small flocks. ID Has caramel-colored crown and nape and black eyeline from lores to ear coverts, bordered blue below. Distinctive black gorget. Rest of upperparts mainly green. Wings also mainly green, with black tips to flight feathers. Underparts lighter green. Elongated central feathers (“prongs”) are not as long as Blue-throated Bee-eater M. viridis. Juvenile light green from crown to mantle and has yellowish throat; lacks prongs. BARE PARTS Reddish iris. Bill black; feet brown. VOICE High-pitched, metallic and harsh trill, often given in flight. — Craig Brelsford

THE BEE-EATERS OF CHINA

shanghaibirding.com has research on all six species in the family Meropidae in China. Click any link below:

Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis
Blue-tailed Bee-eater M. philippinus
Blue-throated Bee-eater M. viridis
Chestnut-headed Bee-eater M. leschenaulti
European Bee-eater M. apiaster

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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