Family Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Least Concern

Red-bearded Bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus)


French: Guêpier à fraise German: Rotbartspint Spanish: Abejaruco barbirrojo

Merops amictus


, 1824,

Bengkulu, Sumatra


Species name often listed as amicta, but genus originally established without a specified combination, and must therefore, in accordance with ICZN Code, be treated as masculine. Monotypic.


S Myanmar (S from Dawna Range) and SW Thailand (Petchaburi district) S through Malay Peninsula to Johore, including Penang I; also Sumatra and Bangka I, and throughout lowland Borneo.

Descriptive notes

27–31 cm; male 68–92 g, female 61–70 g. Male green above and paler green below; crown lilac of an extraordinary hue, intense and with pearly sheen; bases of... read more


A fast, descending series of 5–10 hoarse notes “KA-Ka-ka-ka-ka-ko-kow” with emphasis on initial... read more


Middle storey and lower part of canopy of lowland evergreen mixed dipterocarp forest, at up to 1500... read more

Food and feeding

Airborne insects: wasps, hornets, bees including carpenter-bees (Xylocopa), cicadas, beetles, crickets and ants. Recorded bringing... read more


Eggs in Aug, Jan and Feb and young in Mar–Jun; most clutches have been found in Feb. Excavates nest-hole in earth in roadside bank,... read more


Resident and sedentary.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Density of 4 birds/20 ha of primary lowland forest in Borneo and c. 2/20 ha in peninsular Malaysian forest. Absent from large swathes of its former... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H., de Juana, E. & Boesman, P. (2019). Red-bearded Bee-eater (Nyctyornis amictus). 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 20 April 2019).