Blue-tailed bee-eaters breed in northeast Yunnan

The towns of Menggu, Jintang and Baihetan in northeast Yunnans Qiaojia County have seen droves of the blue-tailed bee-eaters come to settle and breed in recent years, with the numbers on the rise year by year.

Each year, thousands of beautiful birds begin to build their nests on the riverside cliffs in Qiaojia County in early April, and their breeding activities last from mid-May to early July. The blue-tailed bee-eaters leave the county with their fledging kids in August. 

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has a narrow blue patch with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the tail is blue and the beak is black. 

During flight, feathers under its wings are orange-yellow. Under the sunlight, the bird is shining with luster. The blue-tailed bee-eaters are called a most beautiful bird by Chinese photographers.

Like other bee-eaters it predominantly eats insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers.

The bird species mainly live in Southeast Asia, east China, and part of Yunnan. Included in the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species in 2013, the bee eater is also a species under state protection in China.