Asian Green Bee-eater

Green Bee-eater
Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis ferrugeiceps, Nabang (24.730918, 97.557878), Yunnan, China, elev 220 m (720 ft.), January. Asian Green Bee-eater ranges Iran to Vietnam, in China in Yunnan only. (Craig Brelsford)
Green Bee-eater
Frontal view, Nabang (24.730918, 97.557878), Yunnan, January. (Craig Brelsford)

Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis ferrugeiceps ranges India to Vietnam, in China resident 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


Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis ferrugeiceps, trill, Nabang (24.730918, 97.557878), Yunnan, China, elev 220 m (720 ft.), January, by Craig Brelsford (0:01; 325 KB)

THE BEE-EATERS OF CHINA has research on all six species in the family Meropidae in China. Click any link below:

Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni
Asian 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


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.

Go to Birds of China page

Reach us:

Be notified every time we post. Send an
email with “Subscribe” as the subject to

Donate to Shanghai Birding!

Shanghai Birding 上海观鸟