Chestnut-headed bee-eater

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The chestnut-headed bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) a.k.a. bay-headed bee-eater is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It is a resident breeder in the Indian subcontinent and adjoining regions, ranging from India east to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia 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.

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. source

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