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Swallow-tailed Bee-eater
95-swallow-tailed-bee-eater-merops-hirundineus-by-africaddict
Information
Range Sub-Saharan Africa
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Coraciiformes
Family Meropidae
Genus Merops
Species Merops hirundineus
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The Swallow-tailed bee-eater (Merops hirundineus), is a species of bee-eater in the Meropidae family. 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 colored, 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 honey bees.

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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