European Bee Eater

Scientific Name:
Merops apiaster
Sub-Saharan Africa
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About the European Bee Eater

The European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a colorful bird species found throughout Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia.


European Bee-eaters inhabit a variety of open habitats, including grasslands, savannas, woodlands, scrublands, and agricultural areas. They are often found in areas with suitable nesting sites, such as sandy riverbanks, cliffs, and earth embankments. These bee-eaters are highly migratory and are known to breed in Europe during the summer months before migrating south to Africa for the winter.


European Bee-eaters are medium-sized birds, measuring approximately 25 to 29 centimeters (10 to 11.5 inches) in length, including their elongated central tail feathers. They have a slender, streamlined body with a long, curved bill designed for catching flying insects. Their plumage is predominantly bright and colorful, with a combination of green, yellow, chestnut, and blue feathers on the head, wings, and body. Best Viewing The best places to view European Bee-eaters depend on the season. During the breeding season, they can be found in Europe, primarily in southern and central regions where they nest in colonies. Look for them in open habitats with suitable nesting sites, such as riverbanks, cliffs, and quarries. They are often seen perched on exposed branches or wires, where they scan for flying insects and socialize with other members of their colony.