Saturday, 20 August 2016

Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis)

OTHER NAMES: Common Indian Bee-eater
Latin Etymology: Merops ("bee-eater") viridis ("green")

Adult Blue-throated Bee-eater (subspecies M. v. viridis) in Malacca, Malaysia - July 2016

Local Name (Malay): Beberek Leher Biru ("Blue-neck Bee-eater")
Featured Subspecies: Merops viridis viridis
Weight: 34-41g
Length: 21cm +9cm for tail streamers
Wingspan: ?
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The Blue-throated Bee-eater is a fairly typical member of it's family in many ways, but unlike Europe with it's single species, it shares Malaysia with two others.  Most notably, perhaps is how it alternates with another species of Bee-eater - the Blue-tailed - in it's migration pattern - the Blue-tail arrives as the Blue-throated leaves and vise versa.  It is also unusual in that they are one of the few migrants to breed in Malaysia - normally it destination for species travelling to warmer climes away from their breeding grounds.  I found them to be a bit less gregarious and a lot quieter than European Bee-eater, making them a bit trickier to locate.

Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
SUBSPECIES: M. v. viridis, M. v. americanus 

 - Sighting Locations -
MALAYSIA - A fairly common Summer migrant
 - MALAYSIA/SINGAPORE 2016 TRIP: Seen in small numbers on several days in both Kuala Lumpur and Malacca

Further Notes: Arkive, BirdForum OpusBirdGuidesIUCN Red ListRSPB, Wikipedia, Xeno-canto

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