Family Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Least Concern

Purple-bearded Bee-eater (Meropogon forsteni)


French: Guêpier des Célèbes German: Celebesspint Spanish: Abejaruco de Célebes

Meropogon forsteni


, 1850,



Bears startling resemblance to W African Merops breweri in some aspects of plumage and long, attenuated central rectrices, but bill shape and beardedness differ, and there is no good reason to suppose that the two are closely related. Monotypic.


Locally in N, C & SE Sulawesi.

Descriptive notes

25–26 cm (with streamers, up to 6 cm more). Forehead and crown blackish, feathers with ultramarine fringes; lores blue-black; ear-coverts, nape and sides of neck... read more


A rather inconspicuous, high-pitched “seEep” (overslurred), repeated at a rate of c. 1 note every 2... read more


Openings and clearings in primary and successional forest, from sea-level to 1850 m; edges of... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists of airborne insects, including honeybees, other bees, wasps, beetles and large dragonflies. Uses treetop perch as lookout for... read more


Mar, Sept and Nov; occupied nests recorded in Jul and Sept. Excavates burrow in steep bank by forest stream, cliff, landslip, road cutting... read more


Resident or partial migrant, said to move near to coast for the rains, returning inland to breed in... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Sulawesi EBA. Nowhere very common, but not particularly rare in Tangkoko and Ambang Mountain Reserves; present... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. & Boesman, P. (2019). Purple-bearded Bee-eater (Meropogon forsteni). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 April 2019).