Southern African Birds

 

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  Swallow-tailed Bee-eater

 

 

Merops hirundineus

(445) 21 cm; 23 g

SEXES  Alike. Deeply forked blue tail diagnostic. Underparts unlike smaller Little Bee-eater with thin blue gorget that separates pale yellow throat from green (not buff) breast and pale blue lower belly. Western race hirundineus less richly coloured than eastern race furcatus, which is darker green above, has deeper blue belly and broader and darker blue throat band.

JUV  Paler than ad and with underparts uniformly green.

STATUS  Locally common resident, usually in pairs or small flocks of 8-10 during winter months. Roosts communally in tightly packed row on a perch when not br. Vagrant during non-br season.

HABITAT  Semi-arid woodland (western race); tall broad-leaved woodland (eastern race).

FOOD  Flying insects, particularly bees.

CALL  High-pitched piping kweep kweepy buzz, kweep.

BR  Monogamous, solitary and occasionally a co-operative breeder. Nest tunnels excavated in low bank or Aardvark burrow. Parasitised by Greater Honeyguide.

 

Click for call

 

Bes001

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L

 

 

Bes002

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes003

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bes004

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bes005

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bes006

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes007

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes008

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes009

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bes010

Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bes011

Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes012

Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes013

Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes014

Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bes015

Nossob

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This web page was last updated on: 22 August, 2016