July 5, 2015 – Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus)

Requested by: taylorrbranham

These bee-eaters are found in sub-Saharan Africa, except for the southern tip and the equatorial forest belt. They feed exclusively on insects, especially honeybees, spotting prey from a perch and quickly flying to catch the insect. If the prey is venomous, they will rub the stinger against a perch until the venom is removed. Swallow-tailed Bee-eaters nest in pairs or small colonies in sandy river banks or flat ground. Their nests are long tunnels that a breeding pair digs into a sandbank. Both males and females feed the chicks butterflies, bees, and wasps.