Saturday, 16 April 2016

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)

                                         Adult European Bee-eater (subspecies Merops apiasterat El Pardo, Spain - April 2016

Local Name (Spain): Abejaruco comĂșn ("Common Bee-eater")
Weight: 55g
Length: 25-29cm
Wingspan: 36-40cm
NO UK STATUS IUCN Red List: Least Concern

The European Bee-eater is probably the most colourful species on the entire continent - a brilliant bird of yellow, turquoise, green and orange.  They are primarily found in Mediterranean in sandy banks on cliffs or river sides, often in large colonies.  As colourful as they are, they are equally noisy a species, with their distinctive liquid sounding call often alerting you to their presence long before you actually see them.  A feeder of large insects like wasps and bees which make up the majority of their diet, they apparently can eat around 250 a day.

Related Species:
Order: Coraciiformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
Subspecies: none (monotypic)

 - Sighting Locations -
SPAIN - Fairly common Summer migrant, usually seen in flight passing through.
 - MADRID 2015 TRIP: Single individuals seen distantly in flight at Patones and the farmland surrounding Madrid
 - MADRID 2016 TRIP: A small flock perched around El Pardo and various other sightings including at Arrocampo and Monfrague.

Further Notes: RSPB, Wikipedia, BirdGuides, BirdForum Opus, Arkive, IUCN Red List

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