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Little Bee-eater

From Opus

Photo © by wim de groot The Gambia, January 2005
Photo © by wim de groot
The Gambia, January 2005
Merops pusillus


[edit] Identification

16 cm - 6 1/4 inches

  • Green upper parts
  • Yellow throat
  • Black gorget
  • Brown upper breast fading towards ochre on the belly
  • Wings are green and brown
  • Black beak

Sexes are alike

[edit] Distribution

Western Africa: Mauritania, Senegambia, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Mali, Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Togo, Benin, Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola
Eastern Africa: Sudan, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia, Mozambique, Malawi
Southern Africa: Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, South Africa, KwaZulu-Natal, Swaziland

[edit] Taxonomy

[edit] Subspecies

Merops pusillus has five subspecies[1]:

  • M. p. pusillus
  • M. p. ocularis
  • M. p. cyanostictus
  • M. p. meridionalis
  • M. p. argutus

[edit] Habitat

Open country with scattered trees and bushes.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Their diet includes insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught on the wing.The sting is removed by hitting the insect on a hard surface.

[edit] Breeding

A nest is made by making a tunnel in sandy banks, or sometimes in the entrance to an Aardvark den. They lay 4 to 6 spherical white eggs. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Avibase
  3. Kenya Birds
  4. Wikipedia

[edit] External Links


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