Asian green bee-eater

Having wide distribution across Asia, the beautifully colored bee-eater avoids living near water and only migrates from areas with rainfall

Charles J. Sharp

Best known for its richly colored plumage and graceful aerial acrobatics. Sporting hues of green and blue, this slender-bodied bird measures between 16 to 18 centimeters in length, making it a relatively small but striking member of the bee-eater family. Despite its diminutive size, the Asian green bee-eater possesses remarkable agility and precision in flight, attributes that aid in its pursuit of insect prey.

As its name suggests, the Asian green bee-eater primarily feeds on insects, which it catches on the wing using its sharp bill and swift aerial maneuvers. Its preferred habitats include open grasslands, forests, fields, and semideserts, where it can find an abundance of insect prey. Upon capturing its prey, the bee-eater regurgitates the indigestible parts, such as the hard exoskeletons, in the form of pellets.

One notable behavior observed in the Asian green bee-eater is its fondness for sandbathing. This activity, which involves the bird vigorously flicking sand or dust onto its feathers, serves as a form of grooming and may help remove parasites or excess oils from the plumage. Sand bathing is a common practice among many bird species and is believed to contribute to their overall hygiene and well-being.

Despite its solitary foraging behavior, the Asian green bee-eater is often encountered in small communities or roosting groups, where individuals gather in numbers exceeding two to three hundred. These communal gatherings provide opportunities for social interaction, mating displays, and collective defense against predators.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Afghanistan
2016
Vagrant
Bangladesh
2016
Bhutan
2016
Vagrant
Cambodia
2016
China
2016
Greece
2016
Vagrant
India
2016
Iran
2016
Laos
2016
Myanmar
2016
Nepal
2016
Pakistan
2016
Sri Lanka
2016
Thailand
2016
Vietnam
2016

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd / Flock

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No