Southern African Birds

 

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  Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

 

Merops persicus

(440) 25 cm (30 cm incl streamers); 48 g

SEXES  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).

JUV  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.

HABITAT  Prefers moist woodland, avoiding very arid areas; also favours margins of lake shores and estuaries.

FOOD  In Africa feeds mainly on dragonflies, damselflies and lacewings, also bees, wasps and other flying insects.

CALL  Most common call a pleasant polysyllabic dirirup, often given in flight.

 

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Boteti River

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

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Boteti River

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

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Boteti River, Samedupi

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L

 

 

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Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

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Khumaga

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L  

 

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Nxai Pan

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

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Savuti

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

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Black Pools

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF 600mm f/4L

 

 

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Shakawe

Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mk II

Lens: Canon EF 400mm f/2.8L 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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This web page was last updated on: 18 May, 2017