Blue-tailed Bee-eater

Scientific Name: Merops philippinus

Malay Name: Berek-berek Zaitun Asia

Chinese Name: 栗喉蜂虎

Range: Widespread through South and Southeast Asia

Taxonomy: Monotypic.

Size: 23-24 cm

Identification: Adult quite distinctive and is green overall with orange-chestnut lower throat, black eyestripe that gets thinner closer to the bill and bluish rump/tail. Also shows the typical shape of a bee-eater — long and slightly downcurved bill with long tail-streamers. Juvenile has duller lower throat and lacks tail-streamers.

Similar looking species: Blue-throated Bee-eater

Habitat: Open and urban areas, marshes, grasslands and forests.

Behaviour/Ecology: Feeds in flight on a variety of flying insects including dragonflies, bees and large flies.

Local Status: Common migrant

Conservation Status: Least Concern (BirdLife International 2016)

Location: Any patch of suitable habitat.

Migrant bar chart (see more bar charts):

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus
Estimated average number of individuals by week based on eBird data, Jul 2013 to Jun 2023
Peak week Nov 26-Dec 02
Early date 29 Aug 2021
Late date 25 May 2005
A very common winter visitor, and occurs alongside partially resident Blue-throated Bee-eaters during the migratory season.


BirdLife International. (2016). Merops philippinus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2016. Accessed on 1 January 2023

Robson, C. (2014). Field guide to the birds of South-East Asia (Second Edition). Bloomsbury Publishing, London.

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