Southern African Birds

 

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  Madagascar Bee-eater

    (Olive Bee-eater)

 

Merops superciliosus

(439) 24 cm (30 cm incl streamers); 43g

SEXES  Alike, M > F, tail streamers project 60 mm (M) and 50 mm (F). Brown crown should eliminate confusion with Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. Birds from western race altemans have paler crowns and about 30% of this race are washed greenish (lack brown crowns) and only separ­able from Blue-cheeked Bee-eater by lack of yellow on chin, and russet throat patch that ex­tends to below ear coverts (narrower throat patch of Blue-cheeked Bee-eater extends only to below, or just behind, the eye).

JUV  Paler than ad and tail streamers shorter. Chin yellowish buff, throat rusty buff.

STATUS  Fairly common but highly localised br intra-African partial mi­grant (resident in coastal S Mozambique). 2 separate populations occur in region: superciliosus breeds on E African littoral, in Madagascar and in the Zambezi River valley, and alternans (with greenish crowns) breeds in N Namibia and S Angola. Highly gregarious, occurring in flocks of up to 20 birds.

HABITAT  Open riverine woodland; seldom far from water.

FOOD  Mostly flying insects, especially bees, wasps, butterflies and dragonflies.

CALL  Flight call a rolling twooroop­twooroop...

BR  Monogamous; colonial nester. Nest tunnels usually excavated into vertical river banks.

ALT NAME  Olive Bee-eater.

 

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Bem001

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6L

 

Bem002

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6L

 

 

Bem003

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6L

 

 

Bem004

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 60D

Lens: Canon EF100-400mm f4.5-5.6L

 

  

Bem005

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF400mm f/2.8L

 

 

Bem006

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF400mm f/2.8L

 

 

Bem007

Kunene River, Namibia

Camera: Canon EOS 5D Mk III

Lens: Canon EF400mm f/2.8L

 

     

 

 

 

 

 

 

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