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Madagascar Bee-eater | Merops superciliosus

The Madagascar Bee-eater is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Meropidae bird family group which includes birds such as Bee eaters.

The description for the Madagascar Bee-eater (Latin name Merops superciliosus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Merops superciliosus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 439 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 192. You will find a picture of the Madagascar Bee-eater on page 192.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

This bird is known as Olive Bee-eater in the Roberts 6th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Madagascar Bee-eater between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Madagascar Bee-eater has a height of 26 cms and weighs around 45 gms. The head is coloured olive, brown while the bill is coloured black. The Merops superciliosus has a brown coloured throat, pink legs and a green coloured back. The eyes are brown.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is olive, brown

Eyes are brown

Bill is black

Legs are pink

Throat is brown

Back is green

Feeding Habits ...

The Madagascar Bee-eater is usually seen hunting for food within the tree foliage

The Merops superciliosus attacks its prey aerially and feeds on wing or takes the prey to a secluded venue where it is killed, torn into small pieces and eaten

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Madagascar Bee-eater is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 4 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Madagascar Bee-eater is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The Madagascar Bee-eater is found in the Southern African wetlands, riverine forests and moist grasslands.

The bird is at home in riverine forests and close to water bodies such as lakes, dams and streams

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

It is also seen in flocks

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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