(440) 25 cm (30 cm incl streamers); 48 g
Alike, M > F, tail streamers project 55 mm (M) and 40 mm (F). Key
identification feature for this species green crown and pale blue to
whitish forehead. Confusion with Madagascar Bee-eater (with brown
crown) possible when worn blue facial markings of ad Blue-cheeked
Bee-eaters are faded on arrival in mid-Nov. Also, a small
percentage of Madagascar Bee-eaters have green crowns. Rufous throat
of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater only extends to below eye, and not beyond
to below ear coverts, as in Madagascar Bee-eater. Body colour of
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater blue-green (not olive green).
Tail streamers shorter; overall duller and with feathers tipped
pale bluish, giving a scaly appearance.
STATUS Fairly common non-br Palearctic migrant. Present from
mid-Oct, with arrivals peaking early Nov, departing late Mar/ Apr,
some as late as early May. Highly gregarious, regularly in flocks of
20 or more. Roosts communally shoulder to shoulder, mostly in
thorny or leafy trees.
Prefers moist woodland, avoiding very arid areas; also favours
margins of lake shores and estuaries.
In Africa feeds mainly on dragonflies, damselflies and lacewings,
also bees, wasps and other flying insects.
Most common call a pleasant polysyllabic dirirup, often given in
Click for call