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Northern Carmine Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Merops nubicus
Photo by Kirsty
Shot in Bishangari, Ethiopia


A large bee-eater with elongated central tail-feathers and hyper-unusual plumage coloration. Mostly carmine pink, with broad black mask through eye and turquoise forecrown, throat, back, rump and undertail-coverts. (Apparent colour varies according to angle of light in relation to observer.) In flight shows black trailing-edge to underwing.


Sub-saharan Africa as far south as Cameroon and Tanzania.


Still considered con-specific with Southern Carmine Bee-eater by some authorities.


Frequents a wide variety of open habitats including desert-edge, marsh and rivers. Also open savanna woodland.


Highly gregarious, with flocks of thousands sometimes encountered. Colonial nester excavating tunnels close to water. Sometimes follows domestic livestock to feed on disturbed invertebrates.

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