Green Bee Eaters

I first noticed this beautiful bird sitting on the transmission wires passing over the wheat field. Due to green colour, these looked like small parrots. Then we found it in many places in our neighbourhood like over the water bodies and trees.

This bird is called Green Bee Eater with its scientific name as “Merops orientalis” is an exquisite little bird with bright emerald green plumage. The wings are largely green, sometimes tinted with gold or reddish-brown, and have a black trailing edge.

The bird is fairly gregarious and forages either alone or in small groups. From a perch on a fence, low bush, or sometimes even on cattle, the little green bee-eater takes rapid flight after an insect, seizing its prey and returning to the perch, where it strikes the insect to kill it before devouring it. As its name suggests, the little green bee-eater prefers to prey upon bees, but will also take other insects such as fruit flies and grasshoppers.

It exhibits a peculiar behaviour called predator avoidance which is not common in other bird species. If a predator is concentrating its attention on green bee eaters nest, it will not enter the nest until the predator has looked away. This remarkable behaviour demonstrates that the little green bee-eater aware of where the predator is looking, but also suggests it is aware of the predator’s mental state. This awareness, known as ‘theory of mind’, is typically only exhibited by humans and a few other primate species.

Most of the information is taken from Arkive website and I am thankful to them for this. We took many pictures of this exquisite bird.

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Notice the reddish color in the neck of bird in the last picture.

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