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Blue-cheeked Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Nominate Subspecies : courting pair
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Basai Wetlands, Gugaon, Haryana, India, May-2018
Merops persicus


Subspecies M. p. chrysocercus
Photo © by MikeB.
Cuango valley, northern Angola, March 2005

31 cm (12 in)

  • Green overall plumage
  • Blue sides to face
  • Black eye stripe
  • Yellow and brown throat
  • Black bill
  • Two elongated central tail feathers.

Sexes alike

Similar Species

Similar to Blue-tailed Bee-eater but note blue supercilium. Distinctly larger than Little Green Bee-eater.


Morocco, Algeria, eastern Turkey to Kazakhstan and North-western India; winters in tropical Africa.



Photo © by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, Aug. 2016

There are 2 subspecies[1]:

  • M. p. chrysocercus
  • M. p. persicus
  • Egypt to Lake Balkhash, Hindu Kush and North-western India; winters to southern Africa


Dry semi desert areas, desert oases, coastal mangroves, scrub, reed beds and farmland.


Photo © by Vijayashankara
Sohar, Oman, April 2014

They hawk from exposed perches and overhead power lines.


The African subspecies mostly eat dragonflies, whereas the Asian birds include bees, wasps and hornets too.


They nest colonially in sandy banks, making a long tunnel. They lay 4-8 spherical white eggs which are incubated by both adults.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2015)
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved June 2019)

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