Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus)

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) is a brightly colored bird belonging to the family Meropidae. It is found in a wide range of habitats across Asia, including countries such as India, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The Blue-tailed Bee-eater inhabits open areas, such as grasslands, farmlands, and wetlands, as well as forest edges and urban areas.

Physical Characteristics:

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater measures around 18-20 centimeters (7-8 inches) in length, with a wingspan of approximately 25-29 centimeters (10-11 inches). It has a slim, streamlined body, with a predominantly green plumage, a blue tail, and a blue crown. The bird’s throat is yellow, and it has a black stripe running from the beak through the eyes. The bill is long and curved, and the legs and feet are short and weak. Both males and females share similar coloration and markings, with little sexual dimorphism.


The Blue-tailed Bee-eater primarily feeds on flying insects, such as bees, wasps, dragonflies, and butterflies. It may also consume other small invertebrates, such as spiders and beetles. The bird hunts by flying from a perch, catching insects in mid-air, and returning to the perch to swallow the prey whole or remove the stinger before consuming it.

Reproduction and Lifecycle:

The breeding season for the Blue-tailed Bee-eater typically occurs between April and September, depending on the location. These birds are colonial nesters, often forming large colonies with other bee-eater species. They build burrows in sandy banks, cliffs, or soil, usually near a source of water.

The female lays 4 to 7 white eggs, which are incubated by both parents for around 20-23 days. After hatching, the chicks are fed and cared for by both parents until they fledge, or leave the nest, at about 21-25 days old. The young birds become fully independent within a few weeks of fledging.

Conservation Status:

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) due to its wide distribution and stable population. The species is not facing any major threats at present. However, habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, urbanization, and deforestation, as well as hunting and trapping for the pet trade, could pose potential risks to the Blue-tailed Bee-eater population in the future. Conservation efforts focus on habitat preservation and monitoring populations to ensure their long-term survival.

Updated: 20 April 2023 — 15:02

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *