Join for FREE
It only takes a minute!
Magnifying the passion for nature. Zeiss Victory Harpia 95. New!

Welcome to BirdForum.
BirdForum is the net's largest birding community, dedicated to wild birds and birding, and is absolutely FREE! You are most welcome to register for an account, which allows you to take part in lively discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.

Personal tools
Main Categories

Green Bee-eater

From Opus

Alternative name: Little Green Bee-eater

Subspecies orientalisPhoto by Scottishdude Goa, India, March 2009
Subspecies orientalis
Photo by Scottishdude
Goa, India, March 2009
Merops orientalis



16-18cm (6Ā¼-7 in)

  • Green upper parts
  • Head and underpart colours vary according to subspecies
  • Green wings
  • Black beak

Sexes similar


Subspecies cyanophrysPhoto by SimonphDubai, UAE, December 2004
Subspecies cyanophrys
Photo by Simonph
Dubai, UAE, December 2004

Africa, Middle East and Asia:
Northern Africa: Libya, Egypt
Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, Guinea-Bissau, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda
Middle East: Israel, Jordan, Arabian Peninsula, Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Iran
Asia: Afghanistan, China, Nepal, Pakistan, India, Eastern and Western Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Bhutan
Southeast Asia: Indochina, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand



Immature, Ssp. orientalisPhoto by Alok TewariGurgaon, Haryana, India, June 2015
Immature, Ssp. orientalis
Photo by Alok Tewari
Gurgaon, Haryana, India, June 2015

There are 8 subspecies[1]:

  • M. o. viridissimus :
  • M. o. flavoviridis:
  • Subdesert steppes of Chad to Red Sea coast of Sudan
  • M. o. cleopatra:
  • Nile Valley (Lake Nasser to delta)
  • M. o. cyanophrys:
  • M. o. najdanus:
  • Central Arabian plateau
  • M. o. beludschicus:
  • From the north end of Persian Gulf to Baluchistan and western India
  • M. o. orientalis:
  • M. o. ferrugeiceps:


Around water bodies, river sides, open cultivated areas, scrub forests, parks and gardens, open woodland.


Juvenile, subspecies ferrugeicepsPhoto by NookNa Ngua, Phetchabun, Thailand, June 2017
Juvenile, subspecies ferrugeiceps
Photo by Nook
Na Ngua, Phetchabun, Thailand, June 2017


They catch bees and other insects in flight and retun to the same perch to batter them to remove the sting before eating.


Nests are made in a tunnel in sandy banks. The 4 to 8 spherical white eggs are incubated by both the male and the female.


Listen in an external program
Recording by Alok Tewari
Nazafgarh Wetlands, Gurgaon, Haryana, India, March-2015
A pair, ssp. orientalis, calling while examining a mud-embankment for possible nesting site, early summer-time.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. AvianWeb
  4. BF Member observations

External Links


Fatbirder's Top 1000 Birding Websites

Help support BirdForum

Page generated in 0.30052710 seconds with 6 queries
All times are GMT. The time now is 17:23.