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Bee-eater: Blue-cheeked Bee-eater


Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:57 pm Unread post
Blue-cheeked Bee-eater (Merops persicus)

More info from Wikipedia

Quote
The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Merops persicus, is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family, Meropidae. It breeds in Morocco, Algeria, and subtropical Asia from eastern Turkey to Kazakhstan. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. This species occurs as a rare vagrant north of its breeding range.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It is predominantly green; its face has blue sides with a black eye stripe, and a yellow and brown throat; the beak is black. It can reach a length of 24-26 cm, including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.

This is a bird which breeds in sub-tropical semi-desert with a few trees, such as acacia. It winters in open woodland or grassland. 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. However, this species probably takes more dragonflies than any other food item. Its preferred hunting perch is telephone wires if available.

These bee-eaters are gregarious, nesting colonially in sandy banks. They make a relatively long tunnel in which the 4 to 8, spherical white eggs are laid. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs. These birds also feed and roost communally.

The call is similar to European Bee-eater.

It has two subspecies
- Merops persicus persicus - Asia
- Merops persicus chrysocercus - Africa
This species is closely related to Blue-tailed Bee-eater, M. philippinus, and was formerly considered conspecific.
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Bee-Eater: Bluecheeked

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Sat Dec 06, 2008 11:10 am Unread post
There used to be a colony of Bluecheeked Bee-eaters near the Sweni hide near N'Wanetsi. We used to see them there during summer, but recently couldn't find them. Can anybody confirm whether they are still there, or have they moved away?


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Mon Dec 08, 2008 6:35 am Unread post
KEPs wrote
There used to be a colony of Bluecheeked Bee-eaters near the Sweni hide near N'Wanetsi. We used to see them there during summer, but recently couldn't find them. Can anybody confirm whether they are still there, or have they moved away?


I know that they were there last summer. Maybe it was just a tad early for them this year at Sweni.

We've found 4 at Kgomo-Kgomo a weekend ago. I am sure they will make their way back to Sweni hide soon. :wink:


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Tue Aug 07, 2012 12:11 pm Unread post
They are quite common in NKZN during summer. At the end of summer just prior to migrating back to their breeding grounds in northern Africa and Asia, these bee-eaters congregate in large numbers along the beaches.

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Tue Aug 07, 2012 1:33 pm Unread post
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Tue Aug 07, 2012 2:09 pm Unread post
WTM - Am interested to hear your reports of BC Bee-eater at Sweni . I have read many times that they have been seen there but have always failed to spot them - can you give any further details of which month , and where exactly you saw them ?


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Wed Aug 08, 2012 8:55 am Unread post
Hi Highbury,

Late summer, from December onwards but more preferably from Feb - March seems best to find them there.

I have also seen them at the Skukuza golf club, but beware of immature Carmines which may look similar on a quick glance.
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