Blue-tailed Bee-eater: Breeding in Ipoh, Malaysia?

on 8th December 2009

“This is my second sighting of juveniles Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus philippinus) in the exact same location (less than 20 meters away). The last was 13th December 2008 when I saw a family of four – two were clearly adults, one juvenile and the last looked sub-adult (photographic evidence available).

“Today saw a family of five – two were clearly adults, two juveniles and the last looked sub-adult. Posted here two juveniles, the first (below left) less mature than the second (below right).

“Tha above-left shows a sub-adult juvenile while above-right an adult female. The entire composite shows the progression in maturity. Also the presumed adult male in the family (below).

“There is only one confirmed breeding site for Blue-tailed Bee-eater in Peninsula Malaysia which is on the island of Penang. The rest are winter visitors. In addition the breeding period has been clearly documented from February to May.

“Hence the sighting of juveniles today and on 13/12/2008 poses some issues. It is possible that there is a later breeding period up north (Thailand & beyond) and these juvenile flew down with parents. Another possibility is that there is another breeding site in Peninsula Malaysia, in the Ipoh-Tambun area, with a later (earlier?) breeding period. I suspect this is more likely.

“This area has limestone hills, with lots of ex-tin mining ponds and will provide ideal grounds for breeding.

“Will need to find the nesting site to confirm this.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Tambun Interior, Perak, Malaysia
15th November 2009

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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