The Chestnut-headed Bee-eater, Merops leschenaulti is a near passerine
bird in the bee-eater family
Meropidae. It is a resident breeder in southern Asia from India east to
southeast Asia and Indonesia.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender
bird. It is predominantly green, with blue on the rump and lower belly.
Its face and throat are yellow with a black eye
stripe, and the crown and nape are rich chestnut. The thin curved bill
is black. Sexes are alike, but young birds are duller.
This species is 18–20 cm long; it lacks the two elongated central
tail feathers possessed by most of its relatives.
This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical open woodland, often near
water. It is most common in highland areas. As the name suggests,
bee-eaters predominantly eat
which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks.
They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 6 spherical white
eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs. These
birds also feed and roost communally. The call is similar to that of the
Its scientific name commemorates the French botanist
Jean Baptiste Leschenault de la Tour.