Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Green Bee-eater tactics are here!

At evening just before dusk I used to hear a bird's call nearby the house. When I peeped out I could see small greenish birds sitting on the electric line giving out the call, 'druee, druee, druee.' When disturbed all of them would fly away singing in chorus. They are the Green Bee-eaters (Merops orientalis , Little Green Bee-eater, 'Punchuruttaan' in Tamil).

I have seen them fly away from their perch, catch the flying bee and return back to the perch. And strike the prey on the wire on right and left before devouring! They do this to remove the sting ad the exoskeleton of the bee.

These birds have a long tail that has also elongated central tail feathers. A black line is seen both in front and behind the eyes. They take dust bath to get rid of their ectoparasites! They are migratory birds, and solitary nesters. They excavate burrows on the sandy banks of rivers to make the nests. These nests are used only once in the breeding season, March to June and are given up later for other birds or snakes to roost in. During the courtship male presents the female with bees and wasps! White eggs laid in the nest hatch out in fourteen days as chicks.
This Bee-eater is a wonder bird with all its tactics to thrive on everywhere!

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