Swallow-tailed Bee-eater..

Swallow-tailed Bee-eater (Merops hirundineus)

This bird is easily discernable from the other bee-eaters because of it’s forked tail. It can reach a length of 20–22 cm, including the long forked green or blue feathers. Sexes are the same.

This is a specie which prefers somewhat more wooded country than most bee-eaters. Just 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. Swallowtail has a preference for honeybees.

They nest in the ground in river banks, with a long tunnel, where they lay 2 – 4 eggs. This bird is one of my difficult birds, I struggle to get good pictures of them, due to their flying off the perch just as I take the photo and I end up with a picture of a tree or wire fence. But here are a few I have managed to get.. not too good due to being in a hurry before they fly off…

004

len 035

len 040

len 039

len 033

len 034

Have you seen our webcams that are operational in the game parks called Africam? try it to see animals in their natural habitat. Here is a screen shot I took the other day…

Capture 2