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Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก

The Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis) (sometimes Little Green Bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident but prone to seasonal movements and is found widely distributed across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and the Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam. They are mainly insect eaters and they are found in grassland, thin scrub and forest often quite far from water. Several regional plumage variations are known and several subspecies have been named.

Distribution and habitat
This is an abundant and fairly tame bird, familiar throughout its range. It is a bird which breeds in open country with bushes. In Africa and Arabia it is found in arid areas, but is more diverse in its habitats further east.

This species often hunts from low perches, maybe only a metre or less high. It readily makes use of fence wires and electric wires. Unlike some other bee-eaters, they can be found well away from water.

They are mostly seen in the plains but can sometimes be found up to 5000 or 6000 feet in the Himalayas. They are resident in the lowlands of South Asia but some populations move seasonally but the patterns are not clear, moving away to drier regions in the rainy season and to warmer regions in winter. In parts of Pakistan, they are summer visitors.

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Range map from www.oiseaux.net - Ornithological Portal Oiseaux.net
www.oiseaux.net is one of those MUST visit pages if you're in to bird watching. You can find just about everything there

Description
Like other bee-eaters, this species is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is about 16–18 cm long with about 2 inches made up by the elongated central tail-feathers. The sexes are not visually distinguishable. The entire plumage is bright green and tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat.

The crown and upper back are tinged with golden rufous. The flight feathers are rufous washed with green and tipped with blackish. A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye. The iris is crimson and the bill is black while the legs are dark grey. The feet are weak with the three toes joined at the base.

Southeast Asian birds have rufous crown and face, and green underparts, whereas Arabian beludschicus has a green crown, blue face and bluish underparts. The wings are green and the beak is black. The elongated tail feathers are absent in juveniles. Sexes are alike.

The calls is a nasal trill tree-tree-tree-tree, usually given in flight.

Length: 16 - 18 cm including 5 cm elongated central tail-feathers
Wingspan: 29 - 30 cm.
Weight: 15 - 20 g
Longevity:
Distinctive Feature

Similar Species



From opus at www.birdforum.net
Female / Male / Juvenile

• Sexes similar

From opus at www.birdforum.net


Listen to the

Remarks from the Recordist

Recorded with my ZOOM H5 handy recorder. High Pass Filter with Audacity applied

Visit a site with hundreds of nesting Blue-tailed Bee-eater. They were everywhere and I was surprised to see this Green Bee-eater landing in the bush 1,5 meters from me. The bird was not scared and I could get both pictures and a sound recording.

First sound is when sitting and then the last call is in flight when the bird take off


www.xeno-canto.org

Taxonomy
The green bee-eater was first described by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1801 using its current binomial name. Several populations have been designated as subspecies:

• viridissimus is found from Senegal to northern Ethiopia (has more green on the throat, crown and nape with long streamers)

• cleopatra from the Nile Valley to northern Sudan

• flavoviridis from northern Chad to Sudan

• muscatensis on the Arabian plateau (more yellowish green with narrow gorget on throat)

• cyanophrys found in Israel and the Arabian region (includes meccanus)

• beludschicus(=biludschicus) Iran to Pakistan (paler colours with a blue throat)

• orientalis in India and Sri Lanka (has head and neck tinged with rufous).

• ferrugeiceps (=birmanus) in northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam (has rufous crown, name and mantle).

• ceylonicus in Sri Lanka has the nape and hindneck with more pronounced golden brown sheen often included within the nominate race


A study of species within the genus Merops based on plumage characteristics found that most of the subspecies of orientalis grouping together with the most similar species being Merops leschenaulti and subspecies ferrugeiceps appeared closer to that group.

Leucistic individuals have been noted.

Leucistic

adjective  Zoology (of an animal) having whitish fur, plumage, or skin due to a lack of pigment.
ORIGIN from LEUCO- white + the adjectival suffix -istic.

Behaviour and ecology
Like other species in the genus, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and ants, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before swallowing prey, a bee-eater removes stings and breaks the exoskeleton of the prey by repeatedly thrashing it on the perch. Migration is not known but they make seasonal movements in response to rainfall.

These birds are somewhat sluggish in the mornings and may be found huddled next to each other on wires sometimes with their bills tucked in their backs well after sunrise. They sand-bathe more frequently than other bee-eater species and will sometimes bathe in water by dipping into water in flight.

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Sand bathing
By J.M.Garg - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

They are usually seen in small groups and often roost communally in large numbers (200-300). The birds move excitedly at the roost site and call loudly, often explosively dispersing before settling back to the roost tree. The little green bee-eater is also becoming common in urban and sub-urban neighborhoods, and has been observed perching on television antennae, only to launch into a brief, zig-zag flight formation to catch an insect, then return to the same perch and consume the meal. This behaviour is generally observed between the hours of 7:00 and 8:00am, and after 4:00pm.

The breeding season is from March to June. Unlike many bee-eaters, these are often solitary nesters, making a tunnel in a sandy bank. The breeding pairs are often joined by helpers. They nest in hollows in vertical mud banks. The nest tunnel that they construct can run as much as 5 feet long and the 3-5 eggs are laid on the bare ground in the cavity at the end of the tunnel.

Green bee-eater, Merops orientalis, little green bee-eater
Green bee-eater nest (house) - May 2017 - Yala National Park, Sri Lanka

The eggs are very spherical and glossy white. Clutch size varies with rainfall and insect food density. Both sexes incubate. The eggs hatch asynchronously with an incubation period of about 14 days and the chicks grow fledge in 3 to 4 weeks and in the fledging stage show a reduction in body weight.

A study suggested that green bee-eaters may be capable of interpreting the behaviour of human observers. They showed an ability to predict whether a human at a particular location would be capable of spotting the nest entrance and then behaved appropriately to avoid giving away the nest location.

The ability to look at a situation from another's point of view was previously believed to be possessed only by primates.

Riverside habitats were found to support high populations in southern India (157 birds per square kilometre) dropping off too 101 per km² in agricultural areas and 43-58 per square km near human habitations.

They feed on flying insects and can sometimes be nuisance to bee-keepers. The preferred prey was mostly beetles followed by hymenopterans. Orthopterans appear to be avoided. They are sometimes known to take crabs. Like most other birds they regurgitate the hard parts of their prey as pellets.

An endoparasitic nematode (Torquatoides balanocephala) sometimes infects their gizzard. A protozoal parasite in their blood, Haemoproteus manwelli, has been described from India

Conservation status
Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis
Least Concern (IUCN 3.1)
IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2.
International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.



From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

www.birdforum.net


Sighted: (Date of first photo that I could use) 13th of February 2016
Location: Petchaburi Rice Fields


Among others I have used Peter Ericsson's web page Birds of Thailand These galleries contain 668 species of the Birds of Thailand and have been of a great help to identify some of the birds as the birds in Thailand and India are, well, many of them are the same.

PLEASE! As I'm a first time birdwatcher bear in mind that some of the bird can be wrongly named. I have bought book and I confirm on the internet to get the right identity on the birds I take pictures off. But there can still be mistakes.

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 12 March 2016 - Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 12 March 2016 - Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 12 March 2016 - Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 12 March 2016 - Laem Pak Bia/Pak Thale

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 1 May 2020 - Hat Chao Samran--Hwy. 3177 Ricefields & Marshes

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 1 May 2020 - Hat Chao Samran--Hwy. 3177 Ricefields & Marshes

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 2 June 2020 - Laem Chabang International Country Club, Chonburi

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 14 June 2020 - Wat Phra Phuttabat Khao Luk Chang, Kaeng Krachan

Green Bee-eater, Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, นกจาบคาเล็ก
Green Bee-eater / นกจาบคาเล็ก - 15 June 2020 - Wat 3410, Tambon Khao Kra Puk, Kaeng Krachan



PLEASE! If I have made any mistakes identifying any bird, PLEASE let me know on my guestbook



       
                  



                                       
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