Once sighted in the thousands, the Blue-tailed bee-eater is a sparsely spotted bird these days. Bird watchers and photographers say their numbers have significantly declined from thousands to a few hundreds in the last five years. In South India, the tiny beauty is endemic to Chandagala, a village on the banks of River Cauvery and close to the historic town of Srirangapatna in Mandya district. The Blue-tailed bee-eater (Merops philippinus) is migratory by nature. The bird is found in peninsular parts of the country. It is found in large numbers in Chandagala during its breeding season between March and May. Birds like white-breasted kingfisher, buschat and pipit also visit the nearby Naguvanahalli for breeding.
Source: Deccan Herold, April 19, 2017
The bee-eater is a rare colourful bird that feeds on bees, dragonflies, worms and butterflies. “I have been photographing the bird for the past eight years and have seen the numbers significantly decline. The population of the Blue-tailed bee-eater has declined by 80% in the last five years,” said Shyam Sundar Nijagal, wildlife conservationist and veteran photographer.