- The members of Environment Conservation Group, a Coimbatore-based NGO, sighted a rare bird species at Achankulam near Sulur on Monday.
- According to the head of the NGO, the team sighted a bird that looked similar to Blue-tailed bee-eater. But it had a prominent blue-cheek and the blue tail of the Blue-tailed bee-eater was missing.
- They later identified it as blue-cheeked bee-eater (Merops persicus). The bird was rarely sighted in South India and theirs was the first recorded sighting in the State, he said.
- Normally, bee-eaters are found in semi-desert, steppe, dunes, saline pans, thorn woodland and sandy slopes with small gulleys, ravines, quarries, pits and embankments.
- The bird breeds mainly in deserts near bodies of water fringed with reeds and tamarisks.
- During the non-breeding season it inhabits a wide variety of greener habitats including savannah, broad river valleys, woods, lake shores, swamps, ponds, and dams. It has a life span of 6.2 years.