Green Bee-eater

Green Bee-eater also called the Small Bee-eater is found near Delhi Public School Tapi at Surat.

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Scientific Name : Merops orientalis
Classification :
Kingdom : Animalia
Phylum   : Chordata
Class        : Aves
Order       : Coraciiformes
Family     : Meropidae
Genus      : Merops
Species    : M. orientalis

How to identify this bird:

Take a good look at the photo gallery and observe the following:

  • It is a colourful small bird about 16-18 cms long.
  • The  Green Bee-eater is bright green in colour tinged with reddish brown on head and upper back. It is also tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat. The flight feathers are slightly brownish mixed with green and tipped with blackish colour.
  • A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye. The iris is crimson.
  • It has a black, slender, long, slightly curved bill.
  • The legs of the Green Bee-eater are dark grey. The feet are weak with the three toes joined at the base.
  • The central pair of tail feathers are elongated and end in blunt pins. The elongated tail feathers are absent in juveniles.
  • It has a conspicuous black necklace.
  • Both the male and female look the same.
Where do I find this bird :
  • You can find these birds near DPS Tapi  generally on fence wires and electric wires. It can also be found sometimes on roadside bushes.
  • It is an abundant and fairly tame bird, which can be easily found.
  • These birds often hunt from low perches, maybe only a metre or less high.  They feed on flying insects and can sometimes be nuisance to bee-keepers. Other than insects they also eat beetles.
  • Their calls is a pleasant nasal jingling tit, tit or a trill tree-tree-tree-tree, usually given in flight.
  • The breeding season is from February to June.  They nest by making a tunnel in a sandy bank or 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.
Local Names :

Hindi     : Harrial, Patringa
Gujarati : Nano patrangiyo
Marathi : Veda raghu, Tai lingi
Bengali  : Banaspati    

Interesting Fact (Source Wikipedia) :

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.