• Welcome to BirdForum, the internet's largest birding community with thousands of members from all over the world. The forums are dedicated to wild birds, birding, binoculars and equipment and all that goes with it.

    Please register for an account to take part in the discussions in the forum, post your pictures in the gallery and more.
ZEISS DTI thermal imaging cameras. For more discoveries at night, and during the day.

Arabian Green Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies M. c. cyanophrys
Photo © by Simonph
Dubai, UAE, December 2004
Merops cyanophrys


16-18 cm
Male: Mostly green to golden green with paler underside especially at the rear. Blue at the front and sides of head as well as on throat. Blue is interrupted by a black mask and limited below by a black band across upper breast. Central tail feathers has spike-like extensions.
Female: Very similar with slightly less strongly marked head.
Juvenile: Hints at the same pattern but with brown infusions overall.


Middle East to Iraq and the Arabian Peninsula (and Iran?).


This is a monotypic species[1].


Two subspecies are recognized[1].

  • M. c. cyanophrys:
  • southern Israel, and western and southern coastal areas of Arabian Peninsula
  • M. c. muscatensis:
  • Central Arabian plateau and eastern Arabia

Which subspecies may be found further north is currently unclear.


Most environments with scrub or trees intermixed with open areas but not the driest areas and not forests.


Dispersive but not migratory.

Food consists of flying insects captured by sallies from a perch. Often gregarious.


A dry, rolling rattle which descends in pitch, and a tic sound has been described.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.1)_red. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. Kirwan, G. M., H. Fry, and P. F. D. Boesman (2022). Arabian Green Bee-eater (Merops cyanophrys), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (G. M. Kirwan, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.grnbee2.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1