Mesophoyx intermedia

Mesophoyx-intermedia, Intermediate Egret

TheMesophoyx-intermedia, Intermediate Egret Intermediate Egret or Median or Yellow-billed, Egret, (Ardea intermedia) is a medium-sized heron. It is a resident breeder from east Africa across tropical southern Asia to Australia. It often nests in colonies with other herons, usually on platforms of sticks in trees or shrubs. Two to five eggs are laid, the clutch size varying with region. This species, as its scientific name implies, is intermediate in size between the Great Egret and smaller white egrets like the Little Egret and Cattle Egret, though nearer to Little than Great. It is about 90 cm tall with all-white plumage, generally dark legs and a thickish yellow bill. Breeding birds may have a reddish or black bill, greenish yellow gape skin, loose filamentous plumes on their breast and back, and dull yellow or pink on their upper legs (regional variations). The sexes are similar.

The Intermediate Egret stalks its prey methodically in shallow coastal or fresh water, including flooded fields. It eats fish, frogs, crustaceans and insects.

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Merops philippinus, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Kirik-kirik laut

Merops philippinus, Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Kirik-kirik laut
Merops-philippinus

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Merops philippinus is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southeastern Asia. It is strongly migratory.
This species is sometimes considered to be conspecific with the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, M. persicus.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the tail is blue and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 23-26 cm, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.

This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical open country, such as farmland, parks or ricefields. It is most often seen near large waterbodies. Like other bee-eaters it predominantly eats insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers. The insect that are caught are beaten on the perch to kill and break the exoskeleton. This habit is seen in many other members of the coraciiformes order.

These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks or open flat areas. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 7 spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs. These birds also feed and roost communally. The call is similar to that of the European Bee-eater.

Merops ornatus, Rainbow Bee-eater, Kirikkirik Australia

Merops ornatus, Rainbow Bee-eater, Kirikkirik Australia

The RainMerops ornatus, Rainbow Bee-eater,  Kirikkirik Australiabow Bee-eater, Merops ornatus, is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It is the only species of Meropidae found in Australia.
Rainbow bee-eaters are brilliantly colored birds that grow to be 7 to 8 inches in length, including the elongated tail feathers. The upper back and wings are green in color, and the lower back and under-tail covers are bright blue. The undersides of the wings and primary flight feathers are red and tipped with black, and the tail is black to deep violet. The rainbow bee-eater’s two central tail feathers are longer than the other tail feathers, and are longer in the female rainbow bee-eaters than in the males. The crown of the head, the stomach and breast, and the throat are pale yellowish in color, and the rainbow bee-eater has a black bib and a black stripe through its red eye.

Distribution and habitat

Rainbow bee-eaters are a common species and can be found during the summer in un-forested areas in most of southern Australia and Tasmania, however they are becoming increasingly rare in Suburban parks. They migrate north during the winter into northern Australia, New Guinea, and some of the southern islands of Indonesia.

Behaviour

Like all bee-eaters, rainbow bee-eaters are very social birds. When they are not breeding they roost together in large groups in dense undergrowth or large trees.

Nesting

Breeding season is before and after the rainy season in the north, and from November to January in the south. Rainbow bee-eaters are believed to mate for life. The male will bring the female insects while she digs the burrow that will be their nest. The bee-eater digs its burrow by balancing on its wings and feet, and digs with its bill, then pushing loose soil backwards with its feet while balancing on its bill. The female bee-eater can dig about three inches down every day. The nest tunnel is very narrow, and the birds’ bodies press so tightly against the tunnel walls that when the birds enter and exit their movement acts like a piston, pumping in fresh air and pushing out stale air. Rainbow bee-eaters have also been known to share their nest tunnels with other bee-eaters and sometimes even other species of birds. The female lays between 3 and 7 glossy white eggs, which are incubated for about 24 days until hatching. The young bee-eaters fledge after about 30 days and are fed by both parents, as well as any older bee-eaters that may not have paired off or have lost their mate. Cane Toads are known to prey on nestlings.[1]

Merops-ornatusDiet

Rainbow bee-eaters mostly eat flying insects, but, as their name implies, they have a real taste for bees. Rainbow bee-eaters are always watching for flying insects, and can spot a potential meal up to 150 feet away. Once it spots an insect a bee-eater will swoop down from its perch and catch it in its long, slender, black bill and fly back to its perch. Bee-eaters will then knock their prey against their perch to subdue it. Even though rainbow bee-eaters are actually immune to the stings of bees and wasps, upon capturing a bee they will rub the insect’s stinger against their perch to remove it, closing their eyes to avoid being squirted with poison from the ruptured poison sac. Bee-eaters can eat several hundred bees a day, so they are obviously resented by beekeepers, but their damage is generally balanced by their role in keeping pest insects such as locusts, hornets, and wasps under control.

Merops viridis

Merops viridis, Blue-throated Bee-eater, Kirik-kirik Biru

Bee-eMerops-viridis, Blue-throated Bee-eateraters get their names from their diet of stinging insects (bees, wasps, hornets, ants). They specialise in catching and neutralising these titbits that other birds find unappetising or dangerous.

But Bee-Eaters also catch and eat other harmless insects especially dragonflies, and also grasshoppers, butterflies. Occasionally, they may eat small lizards and fish.

Bee-eaters catch their prey on the wing. They look out for suitable prey from a tree branch or high wire (about 7m and above) then swoop down onto it. They snap up their victims with an audible click, their long, narrow bills keeping these dangerous prey a good distance away from the eyes. To get rid of the sting, the insect is vigorously whacked against the perch. Or simply squeezed to get rid of the venom.

Bee-eaters are said to be attracted to smoke; to snap up insects driven out as land is cleared by fire for agricultural use.
Blue-throated Bee-eaters forage over the canopy of lowland forest, but also over mangroves, and relatively open habitats such as grasslands, marshes, beach scrub and even gardens and urban areas. Blue-throated Bee-eaters usually forage in pairs, sometimes in small groups, rarely above 15. But they may gather in flocks to hawk on swarming insects (termites, ants), together with Swifts and Swallows. But they roost together in trees in mangroves and forests.

Breeding: Bee-eaters court by flickering their tails and puffing out throat feathers. The female may initiate courtship. When the males initiate, they usually offer their mates a snack of an insect, sometimes feeding several insects in succession. The male bows a few times before he mates.

3-6, usually 4, white eggs are laid. Both parents incubate the eggs, which is done as soon as they are laid so the hatchlings emerge at different times. If food is not abundant, the older siblings kill the younger ones with their sharp hooked bills. Usually only 1-2 survive to fledge about 30 days later. The young stay in their tunnel nests a few weeks after fledging. Both parents feed the young, choosing large dragonflies, rather than stinging insects. In Singapore, Blue-throated Bee-eater nesting colonies are not easily located.

Migration: The Blue-throated Bee-eater breeds in Singapore and the Malay peninsula in April-September, then strangely migrates to Indonesia thereafter. At the time when they leave, the Blue-tailed Bee-eater arrives. They are probably the only bird to breed here and migrate away during the non-breeding season. They migrate in small groups of not more than 15. In Singapore, they are found in scrub, mangrove, forest, cultivated areas.

Merops leschenaulti

Merops leschenaulti, chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Kirik-kirik Senja

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Merops-leschenaulti-01--800

The Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Merops leschenaulti is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It is a resident breeder in southern Asia from India east to southeast Asia and Indonesia.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green, with blue on the rump and lower belly. Its face and throat ....  read more

Chrysococcyx-basalis

Chrysococcyx-basalis, Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo, Kedasi Australia

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Chrysococcyx-basalis-02-800

The Horsfield’s Bronze Cuckoo (Chrysococcyx basalis) is a species of cuckoo in the Cuculidae family, found from Australia to South-east Asia. The species was previously known by the scientific name of Chalcites basalis.