Birds of Morni: Small Bee Eater

November 21, 2011

Small Bee Eater (Merops orientalis) is a pretty bird, the size of a sparrow. Has long, slender, slightly curved black bill that it uses to capture insects in mid-air. The bird is grass-green and perches on leafy tree-tops and is difficult to spot. The head is pale green and the throat is light blue. There is a dark black streak at the level of the eye. A black ‘necklace’ can be spotted. Two long feathers emerge from the tail. Moves in pairs/parties. It preys on bees etc in the open country that is caught in mid-air. The bird gracefully sails back to its perch, batters its prey to death and swallows it. The call is pleasant. The birds roost in large numbers in leafy trees and can be very noisy. The bird builds its nest by excavating a horizontal/ oblique tunnel in the earth. It can be spotted in the Himalayas at an altitude of about 1000 metres.

Small Bee Eaters, Rasoon, Bhoj Balag

 

Small Bee Eater

 

Small Bee Eaters (Courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

 

Small Bee Eater (Courtesy Rajesh Pandey)

Filed in: Birds

About the Author ()

An environmental enthusiast who loves tramping through the hills in search of the picturesque.

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