Asian Green Bee-eater at Gir National Park, Gujarat, India
The Asian Green Bee-eaters found at the Gir National Park are dainty, richly colored, slender birds. The entire plumage is intensely emerald green with a greenish-blue throat, and the crown and upper back are tinged with golden rufous + they have long central tail feathers. One can see the dark edge along the lower border of the wings when they are in flight. Juvenile Green Bee-eaters are duller than adults and lack the long tail feathers.
Aptly named, Green Bee-eaters are known to fearlessly pluck bees and other flying insects out of the air with their strong, slightly curved beak. They kill their prey mid-air to avoid being stung - or they quickly smack the insect’s head on a branch to stun it, rub its rump on a surface to remove the stinger and flush out the toxins, as well as to break the exoskeleton before swallowing it whole. Whilst they predominantly eat bees they also feed on wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, ants, crickets, caterpillars, spiders… How to reach Gir National Park?
The calls - are long, repetitive, and rather pleasant whistling trills - trree-trree-trree - heard especially in the morning and towards the evening and usually given in flight for hunting.