Merops leschenaulti (*)
Merops leschenaulti Vieillot, 1817
Nouveau Dictionnaire d'Histoire Naturelle Appliquée Aux Arts, principalement à l'Agriculture et à l'Economie rurale et domestique par une société de naturalistes et d'agriculteurs, avec des figures tirées des trois règnes de la nature. 14 p.17
The Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Merops leschenaulti is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It is a resident breeder in southern Asia from India east to southeast Asia and Indonesia.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green, with blue on the rump and lower belly. Its face and throat are yellow with a black eye stripe, and the crown and nape are rich chestnut. The thin curved bill is black. Sexes are alike, but young birds are duller.
This species is 18–20 cm long; it lacks the two elongated central tail feathers possessed by most of its relatives.
The Javan sub-species, M. l. quinticolor, differs in having the whole space from the bill down to the black pectoral band pure yellow without any chestnut, and in having the tail blue.
Race andamanensis found in the Andamans is slightly larger than the Indian race. Iris crimson ; bill black ; legs dusky black ; claws dark horn-colour. �
This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical open woodland, often near water. It is most common in highland areas. As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 6 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.
Its scientific name commemorates the French botanist Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour.
1. ^ Oates, E. W. 1883. Birds of British Burmah.
* BirdLife International (2004). Merops leschenaulti. 2006. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. IUCN 2006. www.iucnredlist.org. Retrieved on 11 May 2006. Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern
Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License