Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus) - Wiki
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[Photo] Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus). Date December 2006. Author Flickr user Alastair Rae (http://flickr.com/photos/merula/)
The Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in savannah woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. It is partially migratory, moving in response to rainfall patterns.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. Its colours and readily visible forked tail make this species unmistakable. It is mainly green with a yellow throat, blue gorget and black eye stripe and beak. It can reach a length of 20???22 cm, including the long forked green or blue feathers. Sexes are alike.
This is a species which prefers somewhat more wooded country than most bee-eaters. This attractive bird is readily approached. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Swallowtail has a preference for honeybees.
These bee-eaters are nesting as pairs or in very small colonies in sandy banks, or similar flat ground. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 2 to 4 spherical, white eggs are laid. These birds also feed and roost communally.
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