Bee-eater ( Merops apiaster )
Bee-eater - Bee-eater information - Bee-eater facts
Bee-eaters are colorful animals. They belong to the birds, which migrate between the European continent and Africa. Some Bee eaters can be also found in certain parts of Asia. In Europe they usually inhabit southern parts of Europe and for winter they move to north-west Africa and southern Africa. Generally they live in a tunnel or a hole in a bank or a cliff.
The European bee-eater has an incredibly colorful plumage including white, black and almost all shades of red, green, blue and yellow. The female birds, called hens, have more of a green coloration. The bill is white, there is a black band going through the head and eyes. Above this band there is a small blue area and below that band there are yellow feathers. The back of the bee eater is orange-red. Wings contain green, red and blue color. The abdomen is blue colored. Its size is about 25 cm (10 inches). Its body shape enables it to be very agile and fast when flying and catching its prey.
Merops apiaster does not eat only bees, as some people would think. Studies proved that it eats above 300 different invertebrates including, flies, bees, dragon flies, butterflies and even spiders. When eating bees they are very careful and they remove the sting before eating the prey. The European bee-eater breeds in tunnels and the female birds lay from five to ten white eggs. These birds usually live in group of up to eight pairs and when they are outside they like sitting on the tree branches.