Steve Happ Photography Ramblings and dissertations

May 27, 2021

Green Bee-eater Splits

Filed under: Birds — admin @ 4:48 am

Green Bee-eater Splits , May 2021.

This is the latest splits from some fancy taxonomy doods. “Accept split of Ethiopian Bee-eater from Blue-breasted Bee-eater.

Accept splits of African Green Bee-eater Merops viridissimus and Arabian Green Bee-eater Merops cyanophrys from Asian Green Bee-eater Merops orientalis.”

So, I had a look at my Green Bee-eater photos again to see what I had.

Green Bee-eater
African Green Bee-eater(Merops virdissimus)

This one was taken at Gebel Shisha, Aswan, in Egypt. It is possible it is a Merops orientalis cleopatra, but I am not sure. Also possible, ssp. viridissimus, new species – African Green Bee-eater. December 11th, 2017. “Yes, African Green Bee-eater (Merops viridissimus), I think ssp. M. v. cleopatra. Lack blue on cheek and throat rules out Arabian Green Bee-eater (Merops cyanophrys), location rules out Asian Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis).” (from Nikolas Haass).

Green Bee-eater
Arabian Green Bee-eater (Merops cyanophrys)

Seen at Khatt, in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), on the way to Wadi Masafi. November 20th, 2017. “It is usually found in dry, open country with scattered trees and in wadis, gardens and farmland…. (split) on the basis of its shorter central tail feathers, its blue forehead, supercilium and throat and its broader black breast band. ” (

Arabian Green Bee-eater
Arabian Green Bee-eater (Merops cyanophrys)

Seen at Al Ain, UAE on November 13th, 2017. Another Arabian Green Bee-eater, I reckon. I could be wrong of course, as I am so often, doh! Thanks to Gustav and Nikolas for help with ID. 🙂

As for the Asian Green Bee-eater(Merops orientalis), the range goes from South-East Asia, Indian subcontinent into coastal Iran. I have seen them in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Sri Lanka – Bundala National Park, Vietnam – Mui Ne, and Cambodia – Stung Treng.


  1. Thanks again Steve for your beaut photo’s and the descriptions of the photographed bird, always easy to understand.
    Just a quick one. Where in your travels have you been most welcomed?
    I’m a friend of Lawrie , we met a few years back on one of your short return trips.

    Comment by Walter Remington — May 27, 2021 @ 6:26 am

  2. hello Wal,
    nice to hear from you mate. I think Japan is the nicest place I have been to. The people are so friendly and polite.
    And everything is so organized and safe…

    see you,

    Comment by admin — June 24, 2021 @ 11:16 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress