The Coraciiformes are very colorful birds. They reside mainly in the Old World, but there are also some in the New World. Some include the hornbills and trogons in this order, but that will not be done here.


Order Coraciiformes    Family Meropidae

Most bee-eater species are found in Africa and Asia, but some occur in southern Europe, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterized by richly colored plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. While they eat any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. The birds only catch prey that are on the wing and ignore flying insects once they land. Before eating its meal, a bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting and rubbing the insect on a hard surface. During this process, pressure is applied to the insect thereby extracting most of the venom. [abstracted from Wikipedia]

Genus Merops

Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked  Merops persicus  Found: Africa, Asia
The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater has mainly green plumage; blue-sided face; black eye-line, bill; yellow and brown throat.
Similar to: Swallow-tailed Bee-eater.  Swallow-tailed Bee-eater has a forked tail; Blue-cheeked Bee-eater does not. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater has blue above and below the eye-line; Swallow-tailed has blue only below the eye-line.
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Jordan  2) Koshy Koshy

Bee-eater, Blue-tailed  Merops philippinus  Found: Asia
The Blue-tailed Bee-eater has mainly green plumage; black eye-line with a little blue underneath; yellow and brown throat; blue tail; black bill. This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee - Malaysia  2, 3) Ravi Vaidyanathan - Mumbai

Bee-eater, Chestnut-headed  Merops leschenaulti  Found: Asia
The Chestnut-headed Bee-eater has green upperparts; chestnut crown, nape; yellow throat; black eye-stripe; blue rump; black bill. It ranges from India east to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Thailand  2) Ron Knight - Thailand  3) Xavier Sandel

Bee-eater, Eurasian also European Bee-Eater   Merops apiaster   Found: Europe, Africa, Asia
The Eurasian Bee-eater has brown and yellow upperparts; green wings; yellow throat; black bill.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes    2) William Kreijkes  3) Jose Arino - Spain 
    4, 5) Dick Daniels - Kenya  6) Cristiano Crolle - Isola della Cona, Italy

Bee-eater, Green  Merops orientalis   Found: Africa, Asia 
The Green Bee-eater has mainly green plumage; crown tinged with golden-rufous; some blue on the chin; black eye-line, black; elongated tail feathers.
Image by: 1) Raghu Peethambaran  2) Allan Hopkins - India  3) J M Garg

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