Southern African Birds

 

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  European Bee-eater

    (Eurasian Bee-eater)

 

Merops apiaster

(438) 23 cm (25 cm incl streamers); 52 g

SEXES  Alike. Combination of yellow throat, black gorget, turquoise underparts and brown and yellow back unmistakable. 2 separate populations occur in region, and are indistin­guishable in the field: one from the Palearctic (non-br), and the other a br intra-African mi­grant. JUV Lacks tail streamers, gorget less distinct and overall duller and greener.

STATUS  Common and widespread. By far the greatest number of birds visiting the region are non-br Palearctic migrants; a smaller separate population of br birds are intra-African migrants (both are summer visitors). Main arrivals in Oct, departure in late Mar or early Apr. Highly gregari­ous, often in flocks of 20-100. Winter records for the north of the region probably represent s African breeding birds.

HABITAT  Wide range of woodland and shrublands; absent from driest and wettest regions. FOOD Predominantly bees, wasps, flying ants and termites.

CALL  Various 'liquid and melodious trill notes prruip, pruik or kruup.

BR  Monogamous, colonial and sometimes co-operative breeder. Nest tunnels excavated into river banks and erosion gullies.

ALT NAME  Eurasian Bee-eater.

 

Click for call

 

Bee001

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bee002

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bee003

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bee004

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bee005

Etosha

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L 

 

Bee006

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bee007

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L

 

 

Bee008

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

Bee009

Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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