The blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni) is a large bee-eater belonging to the bird family Alcedinidae.
These bee-eater species are distributed in India, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bhutan and Laos. The blue-bearded bee-eater have long blue feathers on the throat region. These feathers give the blue-bearded bee-eater, bearded appearance when fluffed out. There are two recognized subspecies of these bee-eaters.
Blue-bearded bee-eater - Overview
- Scientific name: Nyctyornis athertoni
- Species author: (Jardine & Selby, 1828)
- Synonyms/Protonym: Merops athertoni Jardine and Selby, 1828, Alcemerops athertoni
- Family: Meropidae › Coraciiformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
- Vernacular names: English: Blue-bearded bee-eater, Chinese: 蓝须夜蜂虎, French: Guêpier à barbe bleue, German: Blaubartspint, Spanish: Abejaruco barbiazul, Russian: Синебородая ночная щурка, Japanese: アオムネハチクイ, Tamil: Kattu Panchuruttan
- Other names: Blue bearded Bee eater
- Distribution: India, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bhutan, Laos
- Diet and feeding habits: flying insects, honeybees, wasps, carpenter-bees
- IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)
Appearance, physical description and identificationThe blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni) are large bee-eaters, measuring 30 to 35 cm in length and weighing 70 to 90 grams.
The bee-eater bill is gray with pale grayish yellow base. The irises are dark brown and the feet are pale gray. The tail is square-ended. Their call is a series of loud hollow nasal "kyao" sound.
|Birds of India - Photo of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni|
|Indian birds - Image of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni by Jason Thompson|
|Birds of India - Picture of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni by Francesco Veronesi|
Origin, geographical range and distributionThese blue-bearded bee-eater species are distributed in India, Nepal, China, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Bhutan, Laos.
The subspecies N. a. athertoni is distributed in India (Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, central India, Himalayan foothills), Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, China (Yunnan and Guangxi). The bee-eater subspecies N. a. brevicaudatus is distributed in Hainan Islands in China.
Ecosystem and habitatThese bee-eater species have very high forest dependency. They inhabit various artificial and natural ecosystems. They inhabit rural gardens and parks.
These blue-bearded bee-eater species inhabit tropical and subtropical moist lowland forests, tropical and subtropical montane forests, moist deciduous forests, thick secondary evergreen forests, foothill forests and tropical and subtropical submontane forests. These bee-eater occur in altitudes from 0 to 2200 meters.
Diet and feeding behaviorThe diet of these bee-eater species is mostly honeybees. Flying insects like honeybees, wasps and hornets are the primary food. They fly from a open perch and 'hawk' the flying honeybees in the air. The prey is hit and rubbed against a hard surface to remove the sting as well as the venom.
Reproduction and breeding habitsThe breeding season of these bee-eater species is from February to August in India in India. The breeding season is in April and May in Nepal. Their courtship involves feeding, bowing and tail displays. Their nest is a deep tunnel in a mud bank excavated over a period of one month. The clutch consists of four to five spherical and white eggs.
Migration and movement patternsThese bee-eater species are non-migratory, sedentary and resident birds.
Conservation and survivalThe global population size of the blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni) is not quantified. The overall population size of these species is considered to be stable. Throughout its ranges the bee-eater is reported to be common to uncommon. The generation length is 6.2 years.
The blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable either under the range size criterion or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion. Deforestation is the main threat that may endanger the survival of these species.
IUCN and CITES statusThe IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the bee-eater species and has listed it as of "Least Concern". CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni).
1.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:W0A1457_-_Copy_(2).jpg
Image author: Sammykay007 | License: CC BY-SA 4.0
2.Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Blue-bearded_bee-eater_in_Thailand.jpg
Image author: Jason Thompson | License: CC BY 2.0 (as on 2016-12-24)
3.Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/francesco_veronesi/14072093858/
Image author: Francesco Veronesi | License: CC BY-SA 2.0 (as on 2016-12-24)
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