CORACIIFORMES

The Coraciiformes are very colorful birds. The order is composed of the following families:
Bee-Eaters: Meropidae    Motmots: Momotidae    Todies: Todidae
Kingfishers: Alcedinidae (River Kingfishers), Cerylidae (Water Kingfishers), Halcyonidae (Tree Kingfishers)
Rollers: Brachypteraciidae (Ground Rollers), Coraciidae (Rollers) , Leptosomidae (Cuckoo Roller)

Bee-eaters

Order Coraciiformes    Family Meropidae

Most bee-eater species are found in Africa and Asia, but some occur in southern Europe, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterized by richly colored plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar. While they eat any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. The birds only catch prey that are on the wing and ignore flying insects once they land. Before eating its meal, a bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting and rubbing the insect on a hard surface. During this process, pressure is applied to the insect thereby extracting most of the venom.


Genus Merops

Bee-eater, Blue-breasted Merops variegatus   Found: Africa
The Blue-breasted Bee-eater has green upperparts; yellowish-buff underparts;yellow throat; blue or black gorget; black eye-line with blue above.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Harisankar - Ethiopia  3) Ron Knight   4, 5) Dick - Tanzania  



Bee-eater, Blue-cheeked  Merops persicus  Found: Africa, Asia
The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater has mainly green plumage; blue-sided face; black eye-line, bill; yellow and brown throat.
Similar to: Swallow-tailed Bee-eater.  Swallow-tailed Bee-eater has a forked tail; Blue-cheeked Bee-eater does not. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater has blue above and below the eye-line; Swallow-tailed has blue only below the eye-line.
Image by: 1) Marcel Holyoak - Jordan  2) Koshy Koshy


Bee-eater, Blue-tailed  Merops philippinus  Found: Asia
The Blue-tailed Bee-eater has mainly green plumage; black eye-line with a little blue underneath; yellow and brown throat; blue tail; black bill. This species probably takes bees and dragonflies in roughly equal numbers.
Image by: 1) Lip Kee - Malaysia  2, 3) Ravi Vaidyanathan - Mumbai


Bee-eater, Chestnut-headed  Merops leschenaulti  Found: Asia
The Chestnut-headed Bee-eater has green upperparts; chestnut crown, nape; yellow throat; black eye-stripe; blue rump; black bill. It ranges from India east to Southeast Asia, including Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia.
Image by: 1) JJ Harrison - Thailand  2) Ron Knight - Thailand  3) Xavier Sandel


Bee-eater, Cinnamon-chested  Merops orientalis  Found: Africa
The Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater has chestnut breast; green tail with black band and white tip; yellow throat; white cheek patch; black eye-line, gorget (collar line).
SImilar to: Little Bee-eater.  Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater is larger than Little Bee-eater and has a white cheek patch. Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater found at higher altitudes.
Image by: 1) Joseph Mochoge - Gilgil, Kenya   2) Stephen Nawrocki - Rwanda   3, 4) Dick Daniels - Kenya  5) Lip Kee - Tanzania



Bee-eater, Eurasian also European Bee-Eater   Merops apiaster   Found: Europe, Africa, Asia
The Eurasian Bee-eater has brown and yellow upperparts; green wings; yellow throat; black bill.
Image by: 1) Arno Meintjes    2) William Kreijkes  3) Jose Arino - Spain 
    4, 5) Dick Daniels - Kenya  6) Cristiano Crolle - Isola della Cona, Italy



Bee-eater, Green  Merops orientalis   Found: Africa, Asia 
The Green Bee-eater has mainly green plumage; crown tinged with golden-rufous; some blue on the chin; black eye-line, black; elongated tail feathers.
Image by: 1) Raghu Peethambaran  2) Allan Hopkins - India  3) J M Garg


Bee-eater, Little Merops pusillus   Found: Africa (central)
The Little Bee-eater has green upperparts; buff yellow underparts; yellow throat; black eye-line, gorget (collar). It is the smallest African bee-eater. Hunts from low perches, about a meter high.
SImilar to: Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater.  Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater is larger than Little Bee-eater and has a white cheek patch. Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater found at higher altitudes.
Image by: 1) Steve Garvie at Buffalo Springs NP, Kenya. 2, 3, 4) Dick Daniels - Nairobi National Park, Kenya


Bee-eater, Olive  also Madagascar Bee-eater  Merops superciliosus  Found: east Africa, Madagascar
The Olive Bee-eater has olive upperparts; black eye-line with white lines above and below.
Image by: 1) Frank Vassen - Madagascar  2, 3) Steve Garvie (edited) - Kenya  4, 5) Dick Daniels - Madagascar



Bee-eater, Red-throated  Merops bulocki  Found: Africa 
The Red-throated Bee-eater has mainly red plumage; black eye-stripe; blue tail - underside at base.
Image by: 1, 2) Tom Tarrant - Uganda  2) Rosemary Lodge - Nigeria


Bee-eater, Northen Carmine  Merops nubicus  Found: Africa
The Northern Carmine Bee-eater has carmine upperparts; dark greenish-blue head' turquoise belly.
Similar to: No other African bee-easter has a dark head.
Image by: 1) Steve Garvie near Watamu, coastal Kenya  2) J V Verde - Gambia  4) Bernard Dupont - Uganda


Bee-eater, Rainbow  Merops ornatus  Found: Australia
The Rainbow Bee-eater has green upper back, wings; blue lower back, under tail coverts; yellow crown, throat, breast; black tail, eye-line; red eye.
Image by: 1) Arthur Chapman near Ormiston Gorge, West Macdonnell Ranges, Northern Territory, Australia
    2, 3, 4) David Cook - Murrumbidgee River Nature Reserve, Australian Capital Territory and also at Cattana Wetlands, Cairns


Bee-eater, Southern Carmine   Merops nubicoides Found: Africa
The Southern Carmine Bee-eater has mainly pinkish-red plumage; turquoise crown;  wide black eye-line; blue rump.
Image by:  1) Claude Gibney Finch-Davies  2) Arno Meintjes 


Bee-eater, Swallow-tailed Merops hirundineus   Found: Africa (central)
The Swallow-tailed Bee-eater has blue forked tail; blue cheek, collar; blue-green underparts; black eye-stripe, bill.
Similar to: Blue-cheeked Bee-eater.  Swallow-tailed Bee-eater has a forked tail; Blue-cheeked Bee-eater does not. Blue-cheeked Bee-eater has blue above and below the eye-line; Swallow-tailed has blue only below the eye-line.
Image by: 1) Dick Daniels - specimen in Nairobi National Museum, Kenya  2) Claude Gibney Finch-Davies
  3) Frank Vassen - Namibia  4) Alastair Rae  5) Charlie Westerinen - Zimbabwe


Bee-eater, White-fronted Merops bullockoides   Found: Africa
The White-fronted Bee-eater has olive upperparts; white forehead, chin; red throat
Similar to: White-throated Bee-eater. White-fronted Bee-eater has red throat; White-throated Bee-eater has white throat.
Image by:  1, 4, 5, 6) Dick Daniels near Kruger National Park, South Africa  2) Dick - Nairobi National Park, Kenya  3) Dick - San Diego Zoo 



Bee-eater, White-throated Merops albicollis   Found: Africa
The White-throated Bee-eater has pale green upperparts; black-and-white striped head; white throat; black upper breast band; red eye; black bill.
Similar to: White-fronted Bee-eater. White-fronted Bee-eater has red throat; White-throated Bee-eater has white throat.
Image by: 1) Carol Foil - Kenya 2) Craft*ology - Bronx Zoo, New York
   3) Wolfehr  4, 5) Dick Daniels - Keekorok Lodge in the Masai Mara, Kenya






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