Blue-headed Bee-eater

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image: blueheadedbeeeater.jpg

Common Name: Blue-headed Bee-Eater

Scientific Name: Merops muelleri

Size: 17.5 inches (19cm)

Habitat: Africa; South Mali, Sierra Leone, West Guinea, Liberia, West Ivory Coast, Ghana, Southeastern Nigeria, Southwest Cameroon, South Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, East Gabon, Congo Brazzaville, Congo Zaire and West Kenya. Found at forest edges and riverine woodlands

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: Unknown. Not threatened, however their range has contracted over the years and the birds are now under threat in their last remaining habitats. This is mostly from human impact; deforestation and cattle grazing.

Diet: Bees, butterflies and flying Insects.

Breeding: Male and female look alike. 2-9 eggs in tunnels on sandy banks.

Cool Facts: Often seen feeding on the ground in large flocks. Male and female look alike.

While most bee-eaters are gregarious and form large colonies, the Blue-headed Bee-eater is a solitary bird. These shy birds prefer dark forests. They perch high in the canopy. Like many flycatchers, their stance is upright, often with a wagging tail. It selects its’ target and flies out to catch its’ prey and generally returns to the same perch and eat and repeat the process. And yes, it eats bees and wasps. It repeatedly hits the bees on a hard surface, making the bee expend its’ venom and it can be eaten.

Found in Songbird ReMix Africa

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