White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) - Wiki
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[Photo] White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides). Source: http://www.povodok.ru/encyclopedia/photo_animal/photo_bird/art4968.html
The White-Fronted Bee-eater, Merops bullockoides, is a species of bee-eater widely distrubted in sub-equatorial Africa. The habitat commonly consists of open country, often near gullies.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird, but with a distinctive black mask, white forehead, square tail and a bright red throat. The upperparts are green, with cinnamon underparts. The call is a deep squeak.
They nest in small colonies, digging holes in cliffs or banks of earth, and have one of the most complex family-based social systems found in birds. A population of bee-eaters may range across many square kilometres of savannah, but will come to the same colony to roost, socialize, and to breed.
Colonies comprise family groups, known as "clans" which exhibit cooperative breeding. Non-breeding individuals become helpers to relatives and assist to raise their brood. In White-fronted bee-eaters, this helping behavior is particularly well developed with helpers assisting in half of all nesting attempts. These helpers may contribute to all aspects of the reproductive attempt, from digging the roosting or nesting chamber, to allofeeding the female, incubating and feeding the young.
Their diet is made up primarily of bees, but they also take other flying insects depending on the season and availability of prey. Two hunting methods have been observed. They either make quick hawking flights from lower branches of shrubs and trees or gliding more slowly down from their perch and hover briefly to catch insects.
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