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14

European Bee-eater

(Merops apiaster)
Alternate name(s): "Bee-eater"
German name(s): "(Europäischer) Bienenfresser"

Size: 25-29 cm (incl. streamers 0-3 cm); wing span: 36-40 cm
Weight: 45-75 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See European Bee-eater at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

ADULT

Distant lateral view of an European Bee-eater on a power line (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Tykocin, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Breeding information

Breeding season: Jun - Aug(?) Eggs: 5 - 8 Incubation period: ca. 21 days Fledging age: ?

Nest building: Female & male(?) Incubation: Female(?) Dependent care: Female & male

Nest

Type: Tunnel Material: Sand Height above ground: N/A

Overview of a steep bank with European Bee-eater nest tunnels (photo courtesy of D. Wilczynska)
[Near Tykocin, Podlachia, Poland, May 2016]

Eggs

Size: 27 x 22 mm Colour: Glossy white Shape: Spherical

Food, Diet

Like other bee-eaters, European Bee-eaters are insect hunters. They have a strong preference for European honey bees, Apis mellifera, and dragonflies, which they catch in-flight before returning to their perch, whacking the prey to death and detaching the wings, before swallowing the insect's body.

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