Blue-throated Bee-eater in post-juvenile moult

posted in: Bee-eaters, Morphology-Develop. | 0

On 28th December 2009, Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS photographed a juvenile Blue-throated Bee-eater at the Kledang Sayong Forest Reserve (400m ASL) in Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

“Blue-throated Bee-eaters (Merops viridis) are one of the few birds reported to breed in Peninsular Malaysia and migrate south (Sumatra/Indonesia) during the non-breeding season. A few overstay each year, often see them at the Kledang Hill and hill stations,” wrote Amar.

The adult Blue-throated Bee-eater has a distinctive dark rufous-chestnut cap and mantle, which is absent in the juvenile. As the juvenile turns into an adult, its deep green crown and mantle undergo post-juvenile moult. As more and more of the green feathers are shed and replaced with rufous-chestnut feathers, patches of rufous-chestnut appear before the entire crown and mantle turn rufous-chestnut (left).

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