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State Wildlife

India - Wildlife - Bird Population in India

Small Green Bee Eater (Merops Orientalis)


Bee eaters as known to most as small, brightly colored, tropical Old World coraciiform birds (birds with a strong, sharp bill, fused front toes, and usually bright coloration including- kingfishers, hornbills and bee-eaters). The small green bee-eater is no exception to the rule.

Merops Orientalis
¤ Charms of Green Bee Eater

This is a petite little grass green colour bird no bigger than a sparrow. Its green has hints of reddish brown on the head and neck which is ornamented with a prominent black ‘necklace’. The slender bill is slightly curved and could be called long, keeping in mind the size of the bird. The graceful look of the bird is well matched by a pleasant jingling `teet-teet’ or chirpy `tree-tree-tree’ which the bird constantly utters even in flight. They are noisiest when they conjugate at dawn to roost in thick canopies fluttering and flying in all directions.

The bird has a rather graceful manner of predation making the entire exercise look almost effortless. This bee eater launches an aerial sortie after its prey (which is usually a bee) snapping it up in its bill and circling back gracefully on outstretched motionless wings to its perch where the victim is thrashed to death and gobbled up.


¤ Found In

The small green bee eater is often seen in pairs or parties sitting on phone wires and fence posts in open country throughout the Indian union. In large parts of northern India it is known by its Hindi name ‘harriala’ meaning green. The bird clearly seems to favour open country around cultivated fields or in forest clearings. But if you are in a city keep a look out for this bird in the garden or even in the golf course. and if you are out on a sea shore you still have a chance of seeing it in the shady patch above the sandy beach where it seems to enjoy spending time.



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