The Green Bee-eater has beauty and brains

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Ask the Green Bee-eater how to catch a bee so it doesn’t sting you Birds are often named after their appearance, behaviour, habitat, the person who first described them and sometimes even after their wives. This bird’s name is the perfect amalgamation of its colour and its preferred food – bees. The Green Bee-eater ( Merops orientalis ) is dainty (16-18 cm), bright green in plumage, slender-bodied, with blood-red eyes. Its slim lengthened black bill is slightly curved, characteristic of an insect-eater (insectivore). Along with green, there’s also blue on the chin and throat, yellow and reddish-orange on the head and nape, thus making it very noticeable. A black stripe runs from the base of the bill across the eye all the way to the ear-coverts (feathers that cover the ear), and also fashion a black collar at the top of the breast. Though the Green Bee-eater likes to eat bees, it does consider other wasps, butterflies, dragonflies, and beetles. It will station itself on conspicuous perches like the top branch of a high tree, a shrub, or a stalk of grain or grass, electricity poles or wires and other vantage points, that make it easy to spy on […]

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