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From Noble Work
European bee-eater

The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a bird in the bee-eater family, Meropidae. It breeds in southern and central Europe, northern and southern Africa, and western Asia. Except for the resident southern African population, the species is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. 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 (10.6–11.4 in), including the two elongated central tail feathers. The most important prey item in its diet is Hymenoptera, mostly the European honey bee. Its impact on bee populations, however, is small. It eats less than 1% of the worker bees in areas where it lives. This group of three European bee-eaters, each with a dragonfly in its beak, was photographed in Kondor Tanya, Kecskemét, Hungary.

Photograph credit: Charles J. Sharp

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