|Copyright: Elroyie David (elroyie)
|Date Taken: 2007-11-03|
|Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF100-400 IS L|
|Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds|
|More Photo Info: [view]|
|Photo Version: Original Version|
|Date Submitted: 2008-06-09 13:53|
|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
The smallest bee-eater occurring in Israel, has a long tail and geographically highly variable. 16-18 cm, but streamers, up to 10 cm more. 15-20 g, wingspan 30 cm.
Nominate race mostly bronzy green, with golden-green crown and hindneck, black band through eye, blue cheeks, pale bluish-green chin and throat, thin black gorget, black trailing edge on wing. Underside of tail shiny grey, tail streamers long, iris crimson. Female like mail, but streamers average shorter, have duller throat and narrower gorget.
Races vary greatly in color of throat, crown and nape, width of gorget, and length and degree of streamers. Race viridissimus has crown, hindneck and throat grass-green, very long streamers, up to 10 cm, and flavoviridis virtually identical to veridissimus , but throat can be yellow instead of green, perhaps dependent on plumage state.
Race cleopatra less bronzy than nominate, long streamers (8-9 cm), and cyanophrys has greens less bronzy, more blue-tinged, forehead, eyebrow and throat blue, gorget deep and less well defined, streamers short and pointed.
Race muscatensis like previous but generally more yellow-green, and shows narrower gorget, and beludschicus has golden-green crown and nape, pale blue chin becoming pale green on lower throat, and gorget a very narrow line.
Race ferrugeiceps showsrufous crown, nape and mantle, mask often narrowly bordered with green line above and pale blue below.
Usually arid woodland with scattered trees on mainly bare soil or sand and acacia woodland with grassy undercover, also date-palm groves, wadis thickets and spacious gardens, dunes and farmland.
From sea-level up to 2000 m in India.
Food and Feeding
Diet based on Hymenoptera, also beetles, termites, bugs, moths and many flies.
Hunts from perch on fence, small thorny tree or sometimes the back of grazing cattle or antelope, making sallies low over vegetation.
Mar-Jun, occasionally also in Jul-Aug. Solitarily in Arabia and Africa, in loose colonies in India.
Nest burrow dug by both sexes, into flat or gently sloping ground in Africa or often into low bank or cutting in Asia. Burrow 1-2 m long, with terminal egg-chamber, usually 6 eggs, female incubates more than male, incubation periods unknown, both sexes provide for young.
Resident and partial migrant in Africa, rather more migratory in Asia. Generally resident and dispersive in Israel and Egypt, and tends to move S up R Nile for winter, scarce non-breeding visitor to N Uganda and N Kenya. Much commoner in N Oman in winter than in summer, attributable to migration from Iran or perhaps Pakistan.
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