Meropidae


This is a smaller family than Alcedinidae (kingfishers), with a more restricted distribution, being absent from the New World (Americas). Like most kingfishers, bee-eaters are colourful sit-and-wait predators with short legs and partially fused toes, and their white eggs are laid in burrows. They differ from kingfishers, however, in having a slender body with elongated tail feathers, and pointed wings, adaptations for spending more time in the air. Like swifts and swallows, bee-eaters glide gracefully and acrobatically. They use their long, slightly down-curved bills to catch air-borne insects, especially bees and wasps, which they carry back to the perch, then beat and rub to immobilize and remove the sting, before swallowing.  Most species are gregarious, and many breed colonially. Three species of bee-eaters occur in Java, and two of them are found in Baluran .

Flight:

Fast, especially while hunting their prey. Long flights are direct and gently undulating.

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