Month: May 2016

The bee-eater at Isola della Cona

As has been happening for several years in this period, a few days ago bee-eaters arrived at Isola della Cona.

Usually it’s really easy observe  them from the “Piropiro” hide, just next to the “collinetta dei gruccioni” (the bee-eaters hill).

 


The European bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe.

This bird breeds in open country in warmer climates. As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps, and hornets. They catch insects in flight, in sorties from an open perch. Before eating a bee, the European bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It can eat around 250 bees a day.

The most important prey item in their diet is Hymenoptera, mostly Apis mellifera. A study in Spain found that these comprise 69.4% to 82% of the European bee-eaters’ diet. Their impact on bee populations, however, is small. They eat less than 1% of the worker bees in areas where they live.

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia