Bee-eaters of Vietnam – Meropidae

With 5 species Bee-eaters of Vietnam, this is one of another family that has a number of species fewest in Vietnam. But it is not really hard to encounter them in Vietnam because most of all live even near people and nature. Mostly they have a small size except for Blue-beared Bee-eater. A Bee-eater has a Falcon size.

You may know Bee-eater really love to keep their feather clean. They spend more than 3 hours per day on this. It includes sunning, dust bathing, and water bathing.

The overview of Bee-eaters families

The Bee-eaters are a group of non-passerine birds in the family Meropidae, containing three genera and thirty species. Most species are found in Africa and Asia, with a few in southern Europe, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterized by richly colored plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All have long down-turned bills and medium to long wings, which may be pointed or round. Male and female plumages are usually similar.

As their name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught on the wing from an open perch. The insect’s stinger is removed by repeatedly hitting and rubbing the insect on a hard surface. During this process, pressure is applied to the insect’s body, thereby discharging most of the venom.

Most Bee-eaters are gregarious. They form colonies, nesting in burrows tunnelled into vertical sandy banks, often at the side of a river or in flat ground. As they mostly live in colonies, large numbers of nest holes may be seen together. The eggs are white, with typically five to the clutch. Most species are monogamous, and both parents care for their young, sometimes with assistance from related birds in the colony.

Bee-eaters may be killed by raptors; their nests are raided by rodents, weasels, martens and snakes, and they can carry various parasites. Some species are adversely affected by human activity or habitat loss, but none meet the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s vulnerability criteria, and all are therefore evaluated as “least concern”. Their conspicuous appearance means that they have been mentioned by ancient writers and incorporated into mythology.

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Bee-eaters of Vietnam species note

36 WANEE asia

Blue-bearded Bee-eater Nyctyornis athertoni

Status: Fairly Common resident (throughout)

Best time to watch & Photo: All Year

Tour cover: Throughout

Hotspot: Dinh Mout, Cat Tien, Ma Da

Bee-eaters Of Vietnam

Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis

Status: Fairly Common resident (throughout)

Best time to watch & Photo: All Year

Tours: Exclude Northern Vietnam

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Tan Phu, Go Cong


Blue-throated Bee-eater Merops viridis

Status: Uncommon resident in southern & Rare pass Migrant in North of Central

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours: South Vietnam

Hotspot: Cat Tien, Phong Nha – Ke Bang

Add a subheading 42 WANEE asia

Blue-tailed Bee-eater Merops philippinus

Status: Fairly Common resident (throughout)

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours: South & Coastline Central

Hotspot: Tram Chim, Can Gio, Cat Tien

Add a subheading 41 1 WANEE asia

Chestnut-headed Bee-eater Merops leschenaulti

Status: Local fairly common resident

Best time to watch & Photo: Feb-Apr

Tours: South of Central to Mekong Delta

Hotspot: Tram Chim, Cat Tien, Da Lat

All Vietnam Birds Families

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