They roll around in dirt to prevent external parasites
Bee-Eater Scientific Classification
Scientific name
Nyctyornis amictus, Merops pusillus, and others
Nyctyornis, Meropogon, Merops
Bee-Eater Physical Characteristics
Green, Multi-colored
3 to 6 years
Top speed
30 mph
0.5 to 3 ounces
Bee-Eater Distribition

These birds are extremely social, roosting with each other and reproducing in swarms.


The bee- eater (Meropidae) is a tool- sized non- passerine bird belonging to Africa, Asia, southerly Europe, and Australia. They live in a large range of environments, from semi- open forests to exotic rain forests. They do not need far more than a perch and an area to dig their burrow. These birds are extremely social, frequently reproducing and roosting in huge swarms. Figure out every little thing there is to understand about this one-of-a-kind bird family, consisting of where they live, what they eat, and just how they act.

5 Fantastic Bee- Eater Truths

  • Bee- eaters are tooth cavity nesters that dig burrows in the ground or sides of high cliffs, frequently residing in huge swarms.
  • Chicks and grownups excrete in their openings and stroll in addition to it, developing a stink near their nesting websites.
  • Their beaks come to be blunted and reduced while they dig their nesting openings.
  • They eat bees and wasps by scrubing them versus branches to eliminate their stingers prior to eating them.
  • They wallow the dust to stop exterior bloodsuckers. This might additionally make it less complicated for them to eliminate fleas and termites from their plumes.

Where to Discover the Bee- Eater

Bee- eaters live throughout 4 continents, consisting of Africa, Asia, Europe, and Australia. A lot of species happen in Africa, however a number of species live in Asia, from India and southerly China to the Indonesian islands. In addition, Europe and Australia each have a solitary species. These birds do not have rigorous environment demands; they just require a raised perch where to expect victim and an area to dig their burrows. You can discover them in semi- open forests, shrublands, woodlands, rain forests, and below- deserts. Their environments are generally close to water due to the fact that shores make great nesting areas. Search for bee- eaters in groups set down on branches or trimming and sunning themselves on the ground.


  1. Africa
  2. Asia
  3. Europe
  4. Australia


Bee- eaters are tooth cavity nesters that delve straight right into the dirt of the ground or the side of high cliffs. They nest in swarms, and there might be numerous tooth cavities in one location. Males and females dig their burrows utilizing their sharp expenses to stab the sand up until it loosens up. Nest structure can take 20 days to finish, and their expenses might come to be blunted and reduced throughout this moment.

Scientific Name

The bee- eater (Meropidae) is a family of non- passerine birds, incorporating 3 category and at the very least 27 species. The name Meropidae, is originated from the old Greek word ( Merops) for “bee- eater.”

The acknowledged species of the Meropidae family:

  • Red- bearded bee- eater, Nyctyornis amictus
  • Blue- bearded bee- eater, Nyctyornis athertoni
  • Purple- bearded bee- eater, Meropogon forsteni
  • Little bee- eater, Merops pusillus
  • Blue- cheeked bee- eater, Merops persicus
  • Oriental environment-friendly bee- eater, Merops orientalis
  • African environment-friendly bee- eater, Merops viridissimus
  • Arabian environment-friendly bee- eater, Merops cyanophyrs
  • White- throated bee- eater, Merops albicollis
  • Swallow- trailed bee- eater, Merops hirundinaeus
  • Blue- trailed bee- eater, Merops philippinus
  • Black bee- eater, Merops gularis
  • Blue- headed bee- eater, Merops muelleri
  • Blue- moustached bee- eater, Merops mentalis
  • Red- throated bee- eater, Merops bulocki
  • White- fronted bee- eater, Merops bullockoides
  • Blue- breasted bee- eater, Merops variegatus
  • Cinnamon- chested bee- eater, Merops oreobates
  • Black- headed bee- eater, Merops breweri
  • Somali bee- eater, Merops revoilii
  • Böhm’s bee- eater, Merops boehmi
  • Blue- throated bee- eater, Merops viridis
  • Rufous- crowned bee- eater, Merops americanus
  • Olive bee- eater, Merops superciliosus
  • Rainbow bee- eater, Merops ornatus
  • European bee- eater, Merops apiaster
  • Chestnut- headed bee- eater, Merops leschenaulti
  • Glowing bee- eater, Merops malimbicus
  • North carmine bee- eater, Merops nubicus
  • Southern carmine bee- eater, Merops nubicoides

Dimension, Appearance & Habits

Bee- eaters are tool- sized non- passerine birds, gauging 7 to 12 inches and evaluating 0.5 to 3.0 ounces, with a 10- to 20- inch wingspan. They include huge heads, brief necks, brief legs, and intense quill. Their wings might be either aimed or rounded, and those with longer wings are extra migratory. Their expenses are lengthy and bent with a sharp factor, which they utilize to nab victim from the air. A lot of species go to the very least partly environment-friendly, and lots of have black bars with their eyes. Males and females are similar in appearance, and juveniles look a whole lot like grownups.

Bee- eaters are diurnal, although some species might move in the evening depending upon the problems. These birds are extremely social, roosting with each other and reproducing in swarms. Their day-to-day routines consist of arising from their nesting openings after dawn, trimming and sunning themselves, and distributing to feed. Some species take part in social tasks also beyond the nesting period. They are additionally fairly singing, creating easy- seeming notes. Nevertheless, when examined, they seemed instead complicated. They stay in swarms of 5 to 200 burrows, which are made up of clans. Each clan contains a couple of sets, their assistants (male children from the previous year), and their children.

Green bee-eater (Merops orientalis) close up
Bee- eaters utilize their lengthy, sharp beaks to dig nesting burrows.DimLiya/Shutterstock. com

Movement Pattern and Timing

Bee- eaters are tool to lengthy- range travelers. European species that reproduce in southerly Europe and Asia move southern to winter months in western and southerly Africa. Australian bee- eaters are inactive in the north components of their array, however populaces in the southerly component of the continent will certainly move to New Guinea and Indonesia. Numerous species are intra- African travelers that take a trip southern right into rain forest areas throughout the winter months.


Bee- eaters are insectivores; they search by air.

What Does the Bee- Eater Eat?

These birds eat a large range of insects, consisting of flies, beetles, dragonflies, butterflies, cicadas, termites, crickets, grasshoppers, and moths. Their primary victim are wasps and bees, that make up near to 70% of their diet. They will certainly eat a substantial quantity of honey bees when they remain in wealth, particularly if their nesting nest lies near an apiary. These birds are airborne seekers, and they perch on revealed branches short. Little victim is consumed entire, while bigger things are repossessed to their perch, defeated, and burglarized items. They scrub poisonous insects on branches to eliminate their stingers and poison cavities prior to eating them.

European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) sitting with an insect. European Bee-Eaters are very brightly colored birds. Their coloring contains just about every color of the rainbow, somewhat muted.
Bee- eaters eat insects like wasps, bees, and dragonflies.Richard Constantinoff/Shutterstock. com

Predators, Hazards, and Conservation Status

The IUCN notes 30 out of 31 species as LC or “least concern.” Because of their considerable array and considerable population dimensions, the majority of the species do not satisfy “endangered” condition limits. Nevertheless, heaven- mustached is NT or “near threatened.” Their population is reasonably decreasing as a result of environment loss from wood logging and farming infringement. The key dangers to bee- eaters consist of environment loss, deterioration, and environment adjustment.

What Consumes the Bee- Eater?

Grown-up bee- eaters are consumed by predators, such as hawks, eagles, and owls. This species makes use of singing interactions to advise others of possible dangers, and males will strongly protect their nesting websites. Their nest is vulnerable to rodents, weasels, martens, and serpents.

Reproduction, Youthful, and Molting

Bee- eaters are virginal throughout a reproducing period, and species that are inactive in their array might maintain the very same companion for a number of periods. Populaces that move will certainly frequently transform friends annually. Their courtship shows entail calling while elevating their throats and wing plumes. Females lay 5 white eggs, and both moms and dads nurture them for around 20 days. The chicks prepare to leave the nest after thirty day and can recreate around one year old. Their typical life expectancy is 3 to 6 years.


The worldwide bee- eater population is unidentified, however the European species alone makes up over 25 million fully grown people. 8 species have lowering populaces, consisting of heaven- mustached, little bee- eater, north carmine, purple- facialed hair, red- facialed hair, southerly carmine, black- headed, and blue- headed. The primary factors for population decrease consist of environment loss, overexploitation for food, and chemical usage.


  1. IUCN, Available here:
  2. San Diego Zoo Library, Available here:

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