Blue-tailed Bee-eater – immature or adult moulting

posted in: Morphology-Develop. | 0

“I saw these two Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus philippinus) that were part of a family group of 4 birds. One bird was in moult with a shorter tail streamer and had feather moult in the face, neck and wings (left or on top in images).

“The possibilities are of an adult in moult or a juvenile completing the transformation to an adult (immature).

“Wells (1999) records very few adult moults. The behaviour was that of a juvenile as it begged food from the adult (but was not fed). I am inclined to consider this as an immature/sub-adult in view of the light to dark plumage changes in the wing and head.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
18th December 2019

Location: Outskirts of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
Habitat: Wetlands

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