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Ethiopian Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies lafresnayii
Photo by volker sthamer
Langano, Ethiopia, February 2016
Merops lafresnayii


16.5-21 cm

  • Green upperparts
  • Chestnut to cinnamon underside
  • Head with black mask surrounding the lower half of the eye
  • Blue supercilium from well rear of the eye going around the front
  • Yellow throat with white at the rear
  • Throat and breast separated by a blue to purple band

Young birds:

  • Similar upperside
  • Similar head except that the blue supercilium may be invisible
  • Green below throat and on breast
  • Yellowish buff on rest of underparts


Africa: Ethiopia to Sudan (Boma Hills)


This is a monotypic species[1].

This species was formerly included in Blue-breasted Bee-eater.


Grassy areas with light woodland or edges; prefers wetter areas than Little Bee-eater.


Catches air-born prey (mainly insects) sallying out from perches.


A high pitch three-note pattern is characteristic.


  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. Kirwan, G. M., H. Fry, and P. F. D. Boesman (2022). Ethiopian Bee-eater (Merops lafresnayii), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.bubbee2.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1