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Little Green Bee-eater

Little Green Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-01-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon EF 300mm f2.8 USM IS
Exposure: f/3.2, 1/320 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2010-02-03 10:51
Viewed: 6095
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis, (sometimes Little Green Bee-eater) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family. It is resident in a belt across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and The Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam.

This species should not be confused with the Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus.

Like other bee-eaters, this species is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is about 9 inches (16-18 cm) long with about 2 inches made up by the elongated central tail-feathers. The sexes are not visually distinguishable. The entire plumage is bright green and tinged with blue especially on the chin and throat. The crown and upper back are tinged with golden rufous. The flight feathers are rufous washed with green and tipped with blackish. A fine black line runs in front of and behind the eye. The iris is crimson and the bill is black while the legs are dark grey. The feet are weak with the three toes joined at the base. Southeast Asian birds have rufous crown and face, and green underparts, whereas Arabian beludschicus has a green crown, blue face and bluish underparts. The wings are green and the beak is black. The elongated tail feathers are absent in juveniles. Sexes are alike.

The calls is a nasal trill tree-tree-tree-tree, usually given in flight.

Several populations have been designated as subspecies:

1. Viridissimus is found from Senegal to northern Ethiopia (has more green on the throat, crown and nape with long streamers)

2. Cleopatra from the Nile Valley to northern Sudan
flavoviridis from northern Chad to Sudan

3. Muscatensis on the Arabian plateau (more yellowish green with narrow gorget on throat)

4. Cyanophrys found in Israel and the Arabian region (includes meccanus)

5. beludschicus Iran to Pakistan (paler colours with a blue throat)

6. Orientalis in India and Sri Lanka

7. Ferrugeiceps (=birmanus) in northeastern India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam (has rufous crown, name and mantle)

8. Ceylonicus in Sri Lanka often included within the nominate race

A study of species within the genus Merops based on plumage characteristics found that most of the subspecies of orientalis grouping together with the most similar species being Merops leschenaulti and subspecies ferrugeiceps appeared closer to that group.

This is an abundant and fairly tame bird, familiar throughout its range. It is a bird which breeds in open country with bushes. In Africa and Arabia it is found in arid areas, but is more diverse in its habitats further east. This species often hunts from low perches, maybe only a metre or less high. It readily makes use of fence wires and electric wires.

They are mostly see in the plains but can sometimes be found up to 5000 or 6000 feet in the Himalayas. They are resident in the lowlands of South Asia but some populations move seasonally but the patterns are unclear. In parts of Pakistan, they are summer visitors.

horias, nasokoun, CeltickRanger, roges, eng55, siggi, boreocypriensis, jaycee, rousettus, Heaven, Miss_Piggy, maurydv, anemone, Argus, zulfu, jusninasirun has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2010-02-03 11:07]

Hi James
Wonderful light and colors to this little and beautiful Green Bee-eater!
Congratulation for this beauty!

hello James,
the pose is fine in beautiful scene, splendid colors output and details!
keep photographing! TFS

hello James

beautiful photo of the Green Bee-eater with his lovely colour tones,
fine POV en contre-plongé and appropriate framing, fine focus
sharpness and details of the foreground, beautifully blurred background,



  • Great 
  • roges Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 957 W: 0 N: 1329] (6264)
  • [2010-02-03 13:19]

Hi James,
magnificent this macro.
A POV and BG a top. Looks like a painting, splendid.
The most friendly regards,

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2010-02-03 13:31]

Hi James,
Very beautiful capture of this beaeater.Lighting,colors, pose of bird and details are perfect.
Thanks for posting..

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-02-03 13:37]

Hello James.
Nice pose of Green Bee-eater.Very good colours and detail.The composition is also nice.Well done and TFS
Best regards Siggi

Hi Bro James,

This is a post to be proud off, looks like you were standing in the right place at the right time.
Flawless looking focus and exposure, in fact it all looks perfect from where I'm sitting.
Impressive job.
TFS and have a nice night!


  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-02-03 16:01]

Hi James,

Another bird I would love to see for myself! A cute pose on the curved branch showing off the very beautiful colors. The yellows, greens and aqua are just stunning. Excellent details of the feathers. I love the vertical composition.


very nice capture of very beautiful bee-eater species from Sri Lanka, James. focus, POV/DOF and colors great. nicely composed. thanks for sharing this beauty. best wises my friend

  • Great 
  • Heaven Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 996 W: 123 N: 2341] (7912)
  • [2010-02-03 22:13]

Dear James!

I'm delighted by the colours in this picture and the bird is very beautiful. I also like the bird's pose and the point of view you have chosen creates a fine effect. From my point of view, the main subject is a little bit soft, but this does not change anything to the overall pleasant impact.

Kind regards


Hallo James
I wish I had more time.
Just love the chin in the air pose, showing beautiful details of the throat feathers. A lovely image filled with pretty colours. Kind regards and thanks for sharing.

Hello James,
a very beautiful capture of the Green Bee-eater taken from an excellent POV in an unusual pose, good sharpness and splendid natural colours, a very nice vertica composition with a marvellous BG
Best regards

Ciao James, lovely bird with fantastic colors and splendid sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

Great catch of this colourful bee-eater James! Funny pose, great details and nice composition!
Great POV.
TFS. Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-02-04 3:40]

Hello James,
Fine capture of this Shri Lankan race of the Little Green Bee-eater. The POV and torned head pose shows most of its features with nice sharpness and colours, including the blue throat and chestnut cap against a pleasing OOF natural BG.
Thanks and kind regards,

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2010-02-04 4:48]

Hello James, nice shot of this green beauty with excellent composition, details and colours.
TFS and G's,

Hi James

Lovely posting of the little green bee eater.
I love the bright and cheerful colors on this bird and the composition with the green OOF background compliments this image.
Really nicely done and TFS as always

Kind Regards

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-02-05 5:35]

Hi James,
very beautiful colours in superbs presentation. the sharpness is well emphasis.
The simple shot gives a real good effect in showing the beauty in great view.
lovely bird and skilfull composition.


Todo un misterio este ave para mí, y más desde Sri Lanka; bellas tonalidades y acertado formato.
Saludos y buen fin de semana James: J. Ignasi.

Hi James,

Another beautiful bee-eater from unique pov. Love the details and pleasing buttery smooth background. Great shot with details of the plumage so well exposed.

TFS and best regards,

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