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Identification needed for this bee-eater - aas50707.jpg (1/1) latin dict size=107   common dict size=512
Image Info Original File Name: aas50707-Little_Bee-eater-perching_on_branch.jpg File size : 63472 bytes File date : 1999:01:21 09:00:00 Resolution: 1201x800 Jpeg process : Baseline Posted Newsgroups: alt.binaries.pictures.animals Posted Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 18:10:42 +0900
Author Name (E-mail): Kim Jinsuk (jskim@bioinfo.kordic.re.kr)
Subject Identification needed for this bee-eater - aas50707.jpg (1/1)

Identification needed for this bee-eater - aas50707.jpg (1/1); DISPLAY FULL IMAGE.
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Identification needed for this bee-eater - aas50707.jpg (1/1)

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Comments
========
From: pardosa@hotmail.com
Subject: Re: Identification needed for this bee-eater - aas50707.jpg (1/1)
Date: Wed, 20 Jan 1999 13:14:30 GMT

Most likely a Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater (Merops oreobates). Ranges from Sudan
to Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and northern and western Tanzania.
Could be confused with Merops variegatus, but the latter rarely perches in
trees.

Family: Meropidae
Order: Coraciiformes

source: J.G. WILLIAMS & N. ARLOTT, A Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa

Pardosa

Comments
========
From: groenhuys@riool.nl (Robert van Groenhuys)
Subject: Re: Identification needed for this bee-eater - aas50707.jpg (1/1)
Date: 20 Jan 1999 22:00:09 GMT

In article <36a5d173.1106768@news.online.be>, pardosa@hotmail.com says...
>
>Most likely a Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater (Merops oreobates). Ranges from Sudan
>to Ethiopia, Uganda, Kenya and northern and western Tanzania.
>Could be confused with Merops variegatus, but the latter rarely perches in
>trees.
>
>Family: Meropidae
>Order: Coraciiformes
>
>source: J.G. WILLIAMS & N. ARLOTT, A Field Guide to the Birds of East Africa
>
>Pardosa


I doubt very much if this is an oreobates. And I don't think it's a variegatus
either. All the evidence points to it being a Little Bee-eater (Melittophagus
pusillus
), a species with which I have a lot of first-hand experience as a
field ornithologist in Africa. My first reaction on seeing this photo was: "a
Little Bee-eater!", and subsequent literature studies would seem to confirm it.

The following facts point to that conclusion:

- oreobates has a white patch on the side of the neck, below the black
eye-stripe. This bird shows no such patch.
- the bird gives the impression of being very small. Compare it to the branch
on which it's sitting; the branch appears to be very thin, leaves just budding.
oreobates is considerably larger and heavier than pusillus; variegatus is just
marginally larger.
- this bird is rather pale on the underside. Now, this may be an effect of worn
plumage, but in fact one of the different pusillus subspecies is noted for
having a pale underside. The other two species are usually rich black and
bluish on their breasts.
- pusillus is known for appearing singly or in small groups, and it is very
flycatcher-like in its behavior, liking to sit on a perch and make small forays
after passing insects. It's also a rather tame species which can easily be
approached for photography.

In my opinion this must surely be a Little Bee-eater (Melittophagus pusillus).
If not, the most likely candidate is the Blue-breasted Bee-eater (Melittophagus
variegatus
). The Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater (Melittophagus oreobates) seems
quite unlikely.

/Robert

Comments
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Scientific Name: Merops pusillus Müller, 1776
Common Names: English – Little Bee-eater, French – Guêpier nain
French: Guêpier nain German: Zwergspint Spanish: Abejaruco chico
Taxonomy: Merops pusillus Statius Müller, 1776, Senegal.
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