One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A brightly coloured insectivorous bird with a large head and a long downcurved bill, typically having long central tail feathers.
Family Meropidae: three genera, in particular Merops, and including the European bee-eater (M. apiaster)
- ‘For bird watchers there are Somali bee-eaters, rosy-patched shrike, golden-breasted starling and golden pipit.’
- ‘I hit a lull in April 2004, but toward the end was lucky enough to see a couple of flocks of blue-cheeked bee-eaters passing through the area.’
- ‘Many resident birds can also be spotted here like the yellow-wattle Lapwing or the common bee-eater.’
- ‘The bee-eater is an Old World bird, so we've never seen one.’
- ‘Nests that had no other active bee-eater nests nearby were classified as ‘solitary.’’
- ‘Yet another time, near the hamlet of Pelayo, I could hardly see the sky because it was filled with common, pallid and alpine swifts, bee-eaters and house martins.’
- ‘The wires themselves proved convenient perches for small green bee-eaters and ashy drongos that played musical chairs with each other while sallying after bees and insects in the scrub below.’
- ‘First, most of the bee-eaters studied thus far typically breed in dense colonies containing hundreds or thousands of breeding pairs, which may enhance corporate vigilance and enable group mobbing of would-be predators.’
- ‘And last year a pair of European bee-eaters caused a stir when breeding successfully in England for the first time in almost 50 years.’
- ‘A kingfisher and bee-eaters were perched in the trees next to the pond.’
- ‘At the pond there were a few white-winged terns, a black-crowned night heron, a purple swamphen, and some blue-cheeked bee-eaters.’
- ‘I did see a few egrets in the fields (maybe cattle egrets) and a group of blue-cheeked bee-eaters hawking for insects and perching on powerlines.’
- ‘The most colourful is the chestnut-headed bee-eater, which you could spot in the hills.’
- ‘Consequently, throughout periods in which those conditions occurred, adult bee-eaters did not emerge from their burrows or roost sites and chicks were not fed.’
- ‘Again, the bird-life is prolific, well over 300 species abound, a special attraction during the drier months are the Carmine bee-eaters, which build nests in the exposed walls of the river bank by tunneling into the soft bank.’
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