European Bee-eater, Bijeneter, Bienenfresser, Abelharuco-comum, Abejaruco comun
The European Bee-eater, Merops apiaster, is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae.
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It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe.
This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27-29 cm, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.
This is a bird which breeds in open country in warmer climates. 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. Before eating its meal, a European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily.
These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks, preferably near river shores, usually at the beginning of May. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 5 to 8, spherical white eggs are laid around the beginning of June. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, which are brooded for about 3 weeks. These birds also feed and roost communally.
The call is a pleasant distinctive trill.
Afrikaans: Europese Byvreter
Breton: Ar gwespetaer-boutin
Catalan (Balears): Abellerol
Czech: Vlha pestrá
Welsh: Gwybedog y gwenyn
German: Bienenfresser, Europäischer Bienenfresser
English: Bee-eater, Eurasian Bee-eater, European Bee Eater, European Bee-eater, Golden Bee-eater
Spanish: Abejaruco, Abejaruco Comun, Abejaruco Común, Abejaruco Europeo
Basque: Abellerol, Erlatxoria
French: Guêpier d’Europe
Irish: Beachadóir Eorpach
Galician: Abellaruco, Abellerol
Italian: Gruccione, Gruccione comune, Gruccione europeo
Japanese: yoaroppahachikui, yo-roppahachikui
Latin: Merops apiaster
Latvian: Bišu dzenis
Portuguese: Abelharuco, abelharuco comum, Abelharuco-comum, Abelharuco-europeu
Russian: Zolotisatya Shchurka
Swahili: Kerem wa Ulaya, Polohoyo
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