Pikkumehiläissyöjä / Little Green Bee-eater (Merops orientalis)

Photos showing geographical variation.

(1.) Sohar, Al Batinah, Oman 3 March 2006. Subspecies cyanophrys has large amount of blue on the supercilium area, forehead and throat. Tail-streamers are short. In HBW and Birdlife International, Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World, subspecies muscatensis is recognised in this area and these two are split from other Little Green Bee-eaters as Arabian Bee-eater Merops cyanophrys.

(2.) Sohar, Al Batinah, Oman 4 March 2006. Cyanophrys/muscatensis. There is also a largish and ill-defined dark area between the blue throat and greenish breast and lower belly is bluish.

(3.) 1 December 1991 Eilat, Israel. This is (nominate) cyanophrys from Israel.

(4.) 11 April 1991 Qift, Egypt. Subspecies cleopatra. Less blue on head, narrower black mask and longer tail-streamers.In ICBW, this, with western African birds, is splitted as African Bee-eater Merops viridissimus.

(5.) 29 November 2003, Goa, India. Nominate orientalis. Long streamers, no blue above mask, narrow dark streak between breast and throat

(6.) 29 November 2003, Goa, India. Nominate orientalis. The blue on the throat is greenish-tinged.

(7.) 13 December 2008 Khijadya, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India. Little Green Bee-eaters from Gujarat are traditionally included in the nominate, although quite similar beludschicus comes close (western Rajastan, Punjab). Perhaps this bird is slightly paler green and blue than most nominate, with even less distinct black on throat, and with shorter tail-streamers, so tending towards beludschicus.

(8.) 13 December 2008 Khijadya, Jamnagar, Gujarat, India.

(9.) 21 December 2014, Jaisalmer, Rajastan, India. This should be beludschicus.

(10.) Nabang, Yunnan, China 14 April 2011. The easternmost part of the distribution area of Little Green Bee-eater is inhabitated by subspecies ferrugeiceps. It has mostly rufous crown and neck.

(11.) Lam Pak Bia, Phetchaburi, Thailand 13 October 2012. Another ferrugeiceps.