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Bee-eaters: Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa
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Bush Baptist
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Bee-eaters: Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Sat Oct 29, 2005 1:54 pm

Since it seems to be bee-eater thread season in the forum, let me do this one.

I have only ever seen one CBE in Kruger (and nowhere else). That was a 2 second glimpse last year in April on the S100 (sorry WTM). It must have missed the bus out.

Does anybody know the best time of the year and where they can be seen, because they migrate in their flocks before winter, which is usually when I go to Kruger.
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Unread postby richardharris » Sat Oct 29, 2005 5:05 pm

They are actually very easy to see almost anywhere in the park - but only from middle to end of December to the end of March. They then travel back up to Zimbabwe amongst other places.

If you want one 'guaranteed place' to see them, try Letaba Bridge (the 'high' one). They regularly nst in the sandy banks there.

I was there with some birding friends for the first 2 weeks of last December - and we missed them! January and February are the best - and you will see loads of other birds as well.

Richard

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Unread postby Snoobab » Mon Oct 31, 2005 9:46 am

I love CBE, to me they are the best of the bunch. As richardharris stated they are not around for long in our region. I was once in Shingwedzi over late Dec and early Jan and they were very common then.

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Unread postby francoisd » Wed Mar 08, 2006 3:55 pm

Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicoides)

These two was photographed on the S100
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Other names:
Afrikaans: Rooiborsbyvreter
French: Guêpier carmin
German: Scharlachspint
Dutch: Karmijnrode bijeneter

Dressed in carmine-pink, with turquoise cap and vent, this is one of Africa's most striking birds. Colonies of up to a thousand breed in embankments along the Zambezi River and its tributaries, then disperse south or north. In addition to bees, grasshoppers and dragonflies are among the favoured prey items. In northern Botswana, the Southern Carmine Bee-eater has been seen to ride on the back of Kori Bustards which inadvertently flush insect prey. Flocks are attracted to bush fires, where fleeing insects are snapped up in the smoke.

Size & Weight
26-36cm and ± 61g

Identification
This Bee-eater is unmistakable, most of the bird is a red colour, crown and undertail covert are blue

Distribution
They are found in Northern South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Northern Botswana and North Eastern Namibia

Status
Locally common resident

Habitat
In the Lowveld area especially in the major river systems and floodplains

Habits
These birds are highly gregarious. They hunt insects from a perch over a river or from a telephone line

Food
Large flying insects

Breeding
When: August to November
Nest : A burrow in the side of a mud bank
Clutch : 2-5 Eggs
Incubation : Unrecorded
Last edited by francoisd on Thu Mar 09, 2006 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Unread postby Elsa » Sun Mar 19, 2006 6:55 pm

We saw this bee eater on the S 36 last year, always something special to see.

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Unread postby Cicelia » Wed Mar 22, 2006 4:55 pm

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Unread postby Cicelia » Wed Mar 22, 2006 5:42 pm

Spotted between Satara and Tshokwane on the
H1-3, 03 March 06

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Unread postby Arie » Tue Mar 28, 2006 5:54 pm

Posted this picture already in another topic but it certainly belongs here as well. Spotted them in the same area as Cicelia, on the loop to the Baobab Tree halfway between Tshokwane and Satara. We saw quite a lot of these beautiful birds in that area.

Image

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:04 pm

The birds in the photos posted by Arie and Cecilia look like juveniles. What time of year was it?
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Unread postby Arie » Tue Mar 28, 2006 7:39 pm

Hi BB,

The one on the right in my picture is indeed a juvenile because it lacks the elongated tailfeathers. I believe the other one is an adult although colors are not as bright as they can be. Don't know if there is difference in colouring between male and female. As with many other birds the female might be duller in color than the male.
This picture was taken two weeks ago, on the 13th of march.

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Unread postby cybeR@NGER » Tue Mar 28, 2006 9:02 pm

Arie wrote:The one on the right in my picture is indeed a juvenile because it lacks the elongated tailfeathers.

... and has pale blue forecrown with dusky mottling, changing to earth brown on hind neck and upper mantle, rump greyish blue, throat pinkish and pale pink breast. See also the one I posted on the previous page (pic in the middle).
Arie wrote:Don't know the difference in colouring between male and female.

Sexes are alike, although tail streamers project up to 120mm in males and up to 105mm in females.

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Unread postby Aquilla » Tue Apr 04, 2006 1:42 pm

I see them , Carmine's, on about 80% of my summer trips. I think the best spot is on the western side of the Mlondozi loop(S29) before the S122. They hunt from perches on lowish trees in that area.....quiet easy to spot.

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Unread postby nightjar » Wed Jan 10, 2007 10:36 am

I saw Carmine Bee-eaters twice in KNP during December, on the southern section of the Mahonie Loop and at the Tropic of Capricorn stone.

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Unread postby Bush Baptist » Wed Jan 10, 2007 5:21 pm

Pkop to Skukuza tar road 3 weeks ago.
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Unread postby bucky » Tue Feb 27, 2007 8:58 am

Loads on the road from lower sabie to tshokwani , we witnessed a flock of these and some amur falcons catching flying ants emerging after a rain storm , it was a real sight .

There is a flock roosting at girivana dam , and they catch some late afternoon snacks in the dam .

Tshokwane picnic site has a lot also , I got these at tshokwane in January .
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