Saturday, June 30, 2012

>>Genus Nyctyornis

Genus Nyctyornis

Blue-bearded Bee-eater
Scientific classification
Jardine & Selby, 1830
N. amictus
N. athertoni
Nyctyornis is a genus of the bee-eaters, near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. There are just two members of this group, which occur in tropical south and southeatern Asia.
  • Red-bearded Bee-eater, Nyctyornis amictus
  • Blue-bearded Bee-eater, Nyctyornis athertoni
The genus is basal and forms a sister group to the remaining members of the bee-eater family.
Like other bee-eaters, Nyctyornis species are colourful birds with long tails, long downturned bills and pointed wings. They are large bee-eaters (Blue-bearded is the largest of all bee-eaters), predominantly green, with a face colour as indicated by the species' name. This colour extends on to the slightly hanging throat feathers to form the “beard”.
Like other bee-eaters, they predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air, but they have a quite different strategy. They hunt alone or in pairs, rather than in flocks, and sit motionless for long periods before pursuing their prey. Blue-bearded will also clamber in foliage for insects, and bees are sometimes attract by the bright blue beard of a perched bird, presumably mistaking it for a flower.
Their size and more rounded wings gives Nyctyornis species a heavier flapping flight less graceful than that of the 'Merops genus
Like other bee-eaters, they nest in burrows tunneled into the side of sandy banks, but do not form colonies.

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