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Chestnut-headed Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Photo by cskhaw
Penang, Malaysia
Merops leschenaulti



  • Green plumage
  • Blue rump and lower belly
  • Yellow face and throat
  • Black eye stripe
  • Rich chestnut crown and nape
  • Thin, black curved bill

Sexes alike, but juveniles are duller


Asia: found in China, Nepal, India, Andaman Islands, Eastern and Western Himalayas, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bhutan.
Southeast Asia: Indochina, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Malaysia, Malay Peninsula, Indonesia, Greater Sundas, Sumatra, Java, Lesser Sundas and Bali.



There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • M. l. leschenaulti:
  • M. l. andamanensis:
  • M. l. quinticolor:


Quite varied from deciduous lowland forest edges and clearings, open fields and plantations to coastal scrub. Can be found up to 1800 meters.



The diet includes bees, wasps, hornets and insects, caught aerially.


They nest colonially in a long tunnel in sandy banks. The clutch consists of 5-6 white eggs which are tended by both adults.


  1. Clements, JF. 2009. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2009. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019.
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia
  4. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

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