Merops viridis, Lin.
117. :- Jerdon's Birds of India, Vol. I, p. 205 ; Butler, Guzerat; Stray Feathers, Vol. III, p. 455 ; Deccan, Stray Feathers, Vol. IX, p. 381; Murray's Vertebrate Zoology of Sind, p. 107 ; Swinhoe and Barnes, Central India; Ibis, 1885, p. 60.
THE COMMON INDIAN BEE-EATER.
Length, including centre tail-feathers, 8.5 ; expanse, 10 ; wing, 3.5; tail, 4 ; tarsus, 0.36 ; bill at gape, 1.3; bill at front, 1; the centre tail feathers exceed the others by 1.25 to 2.5 inches.
Bill black ; irides blood-red; feet plumbeous,
Plumage, above bright grass-green ; the head, nape, and hind neck burnished with golden; a black eye-streak from the base of the bill through the eye to the top of the ear-coverts; quills with a reddish tinge, especially on the inner web, and all tipped dusky; tail .duller green, the webs dusky at their inner edge ; the two central tail-feathers elongated; chin and throat verdigris-green, and a black collar on the top of the breast; the rest of the lower parts bright green, mixed with verdigris, paler and more coerulescent on the lower abdomen, and under tail-coverts.
The Common Indian Bee-eater occurs abundantly throughout the district; it is a permanent resident, breeding during April and May.
They usually excavate holes in sand banks or earthy cliffs, but occasionally make them in level ground; these holes vary in depth from 1 1/2 to 5 feet, according to the nature of the soil ; the eggs, four or five in number (more rarely six), are spherical in shape, white in color and are highly glossy when fresh, but as incubation proceeds the gloss disappears and they become dead white ; they measure 0.78 in length by about 0.7 in breadth.