Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Blauwstaartbijeneter)
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green;
its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the tail
is blue and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 23-26 cm, including the two elongated
central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.
This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical open country, such as farmland, parks or ricefields.
It is most often seen near large waterbodies. Like other bee-eaters it predominantly eats insects,
especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.This
species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers. The insect that are caught
are beaten on the perch to kill and break the exoskeleton. This habit is seen in many other members
of the coraciiformes order.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a
relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the
female take care of the eggs. These birds also feed and roost communally. The call is similar to
that of the European Bee-eater.
Species: Merops philippinus