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Blue-breasted Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies loringi
Photo by Mike Barth
Entebbe, Uganda, December 2011
Merops variegatus


18–21 cm (7-8¼ in)

  • Green crown and upperparts
  • Broad black eye-stripe
  • Dark purple throat patch
  • White patches on side of neck, between green hindneck and yellow throat.
Photo by andy wilkes
Uganda, March 2018

Similar Species

Slightly larger than Little Bee-eater, which lacks white by the throat patch.


Western Africa: Guinea, Nigeria, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Angola, Zaire
Eastern Africa: Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Zambia


Ethiopian Bee-eater was formerly included in this species.


There are 3 subspecies[1]:

  • M. v. loringi:
  • M. v. variegatus:
  • M. v. bangweoloensis:


Long grass savannas and old fields, to reeds and papyrus swamps; usually occurs in more humid areas than Little Bee-eater.



They feed on a variety of flying insects, particularly bees. These are taken in flight when sallying out from a perch.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F, D Donsker, and P Rasmussen (Eds). 2023. IOC World Bird List (v 13.1)_red. Doi 10.14344/IOC.ML.13.1. http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. BF Member observations

Recommended Citation

External Links

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