English : Little Green Bee-eater / Green Bee-eater
Scientific : Merops orientalis
Sinhala : කොළ කුරුමිණි කුරුල්ලා / පුංචි බිඟුහරයා / හරිත බිඟුහරයා [Kola kurumini kurulla / Punchi binguharaya / Haritha binguharaya]
Merops orientalis is the smallest among the other four species of Bee-Eaters living in Sri Lanka. Due to that reason it is given the name ‘Little Green Bee-eater’. Their male and female birds look similar.
It can be seen mostly in dry zone of Sri Lanka such as Udawalawa and Yala national parks. Globally they have been distributed across sub-Saharan Africa from Senegal and the Gambia to Ethiopia, the Nile valley, western Arabia and Asia through India to Vietnam.
They feed on bees, other flying and ground dwelling insects. M. orientalis uses its ability of catching insects in flight for hunting their pray. They have a special habit of removing stings and breaking exoskeleton of its pray by thrusting against the perch.