Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names


Native Habitat



Bees, Wasps, Hornets, Dragonflies


Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Merops philippinus

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It breeds in southeastern Asia. It is strongly migratory. 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 is 27cm long, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Male and female are alike.

Blue-tailed Bee-eater 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.

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.

Regional Names
  • Assamese:
  • Hindi:
    बडा पतरिंगा
  • Kannada:
    ನೀಲಿಬಾಲದ ಕಳ್ಳಿಪೀರ
  • Malayalam:
    വലിയ വേലിത്തത്ത
  • Marathi:
    निळ्या शेपटीचा पाणपोपट
  • Nepali:
    नीलपुच्छ्रे मुरलीचरा
  • Tamil:
    நீலவால் பஞ்சுருட்டான்
Media Gallery

Merops philippinus