Saturday, December 24

Blue-bearded bee-eater

   ›      ›   Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni.

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.

Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Blue-bearded bee-eater Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

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)
The two recognized subspecies of the blue-bearded bee-eater are: Nyctyornis athertoni athertoni (Jardine & Selby, 1828) and Nyctyornis athertoni brevicaudatus (Koelz, 1939).

Appearance, physical description and identification

The blue-bearded bee-eater (Nyctyornis athertoni) are large bee-eaters, measuring 30 to 35 cm in length and weighing 70 to 90 grams.
The overall plumage of blue-bearded bee-eater is grass-green on the upperparts and creamy yellow on the underparts. The forehead, chin and face are bluish green. The feathers in the throat region are long, broad and blue. They give a beard-like appearance when fluffed out.

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.
Image of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni
Birds of India - Photo of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni
Birds of India - Picture of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni
Indian birds - Image of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni by Jason Thompson
Indian birds - Photo of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni
Birds of India - Picture of Blue-bearded bee-eater - Nyctyornis athertoni by Francesco Veronesi

Origin, geographical range and distribution

These 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 habitat

These 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 behavior

The 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 habits

The 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 patterns

These bee-eater species are non-migratory, sedentary and resident birds.
Post breeding dispersal of the juveniles takes place. They may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Conservation and survival

The 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 status

The 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).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Nyctyornis athertoni
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Aves
Order:Coraciiformes
Family:Meropidae
Subfamily:-
Genus:Nyctyornis
Species:N. athertoni
Binomial name:Nyctyornis athertoni
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
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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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