The Bee-eater - Wanted poster


Surname: Bee-eater
Other names: /
Latin name: Merops apiaster
class: Birds
size: 24 - 30 cm
mass: 50 - 60 g
Older: ten years
Appearance: colorful plumage (turquoise, yellow, reddish brown)
Sexual dimorphism: Yes
Nutrition type: Insectivore (insectivore)
food: Bees, wasps, bumblebees, butterflies, beetles and dragonflies
distribution: South and Southeastern Europe, Southwest Asia
original origin: ?
Sleep-wake rhythm: diurnal
habitat: Open landscapes with trees and bushes
natural enemies: Birds of prey, fox, martens
sexual maturity: from the second year of life
mating season: May - July
breeding season: 20 - 22 days
clutch size: 5 - 8 eggs
social behavior: Swarm animal
Threatened with extinction: Yes
Further profiles of animals can be found in the Encyclopaedia.

Interesting about the bee-eater

  • The bee-eater or Merops apiaster describes a species native to Europe within the Rackenvögel, which is unmistakable by their strikingly colorful plumage.
  • The bee eater has a dark red skull, a much lighter forehead and a bright yellow throat and chin. In stark contrast are the green-blue belly, the black eye line and pointed beak and the black-framed wings. On the back there is a golden spot, the feathers on the tail and wings shimmer greenish or brownish when exposed to sunlight.
  • Females and males differ only in their size from each other. The females are about 28 inches tall, the males are a little smaller and much lighter.
  • As a migratory bird, the bee-eater spends the winter months in Africa and returns to its European breeding areas in spring.
  • It is found mainly in warm areas of south and southeastern Europe, but also native to Western Asia. He is also more common in Germany and Austria today.
  • It inhabits open or at least semi-open landscapes with sparse tree and plant growth, which offer perfect conditions for its hunting flights.
  • He is particularly fond of sitting on dead branches, which serve him as a waiting room.
  • During the breeding season he stays on steep slopes near waters.
  • Bee-eater is a highly specialized hunter whose food sources are flying insects such as bees, wasps, bumblebees, butterflies, beetles and dragonflies.
  • He rubs poisonous prey such as wasps on a branch or stone until the poison is pressed out of the abdomen.
  • Bee-eaters are extremely sociable birds that often sit together on the branches and breed in large colonies.
  • In loamy walls, the bee-eater digs a breeding cave that is up to eighty centimeters deep and only a few centimeters narrow.
  • After the courtship in April and May and the subsequent mating, the female lays up to six, and less often also seven, eggs in the brood cavity. After three weeks hatch the young birds, which are supplied with food by both parents for four weeks. Then they are lured by the parents from the breeding cave.
  • Many bee-eaters and their clutches fall victim to martens, rats, weasels, wild boars or foxes or are captured by sparrowhawks, hawks or other larger birds.
  • Stocks have declined steadily in recent decades, as the nesting opportunities of bee-eaters are being destroyed by urban development and gravel mining.
  • The life expectancy of the bee-eater is about ten years.