Merops apiaster, Lin.
121. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 210; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 108.
THE EUROPEAN BEE-EATER.
Length., 10 to 11; expanse, 17 to 18; wing, 5.5 to 6 ; tail, 3.75 to 4.75 ; tarsus, 0.5 ; bill at front, 1.2.
Bill black; irides red; legs reddish-brown; forehead pale whitish-blue ;• body above maroon-red, passing into rufous-yellow on the rump ; a black eye-streak from the base of the bill, through the eye, nearly meeting another black band which crosses the lower part of the throat; chin and throat rich yellow; wings blue-green, or greenish blue, with most of the coverts and the secondaries chesnut, the latter black tipped, as are the primaries, though faintly; tertiaries blue-green ; tail dull green, the tips of the centre feathers bluish ; lower parts verdigris-blue.
Mr. Murray, in his Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, states that the European Bee-eater " occurs as a bird of passage in Sind, Kutch, Kattiawar, Rajpootana, and the Deccan." I have myself never met with the bird in India, but further north in Afghanistan, I found it very common.