Green Bee-eater casting pellet

posted in: Bee-eaters, Pellets | 3

Dr. Sudhanshu Kothe of Nagpur, India documented the casting of a pellet by a Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis). He was at Jaikwadi Lake in Maharashtra on 9th January 2010 when he captured the sequential images of the casting. The bee-eater gaped widely (above left) before a dark pellet appeared above its tongue (above right). The bird then lowered its head somewhat and the oval pellet dropped to the ground (below).

The pellet was located on the ground below where the bee-eater was perching.

We have earlier posted pellet casting by a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) and a Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis). With this Green Bee-eater, we now have photographic documentation of three species of bee-eaters.

For information on pellet casting by other species of birds, download the paper summarising our knowledge on local birds HERE.

Copyright images by Dr. Sudhanshu Kothe.

3 Responses

  1. Gretchen

    Would the pellet mostly contain insect parts (legs, wings?)? I wonder what a bee-eater eats that is indigestible.

  2. YC

    The pellets of bee-eaters contain mainly exoskelletons of the insects they take. Wings are usually broken off before swallowing.

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