The bees and their nemeses

The Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, Merops persicus, is elegance personified.

It breeds in Morocco and Algeria, but winters south of the Sahara in West Africa, including The Gambia. It really does eat bees, and also dragonflies. They will not go short of food. Here is a local wild bee-hive, a huge dramatic edifice hanging from a large rainforest tree in the Bonto forest:

The bee-eater is off to hunt.

a graceful turn

and it’s on its way.

I have left room for one more, a close relative, the Swallow-tailed Bee-eater, Merops hirundineus:

Azure eyebrows, gorget (a great word, from the days of armory) and rump: maybe the most gorgeous yet?

It doesn’t seem to migrate, but no-one really knows. It’s not very common north of the equator (ie Gambia!), more often seen in southern Africa.

2 thoughts on “The bees and their nemeses”

  1. Gorgeous birds…those colors! The hive for wild bees is so interesting and quite different than wooden hives. We had 2 hives for 2 years…amazing to look at and watch the bees.


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