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Southern Carmine Bee-eater - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by Shaka1652
Botswana, January 2014
Merops nubicoides


24–27 cm (9½-10½ in); tail streamers another 12 cm)

  • Carmine underparts and back
  • Blue crown, rump and undertail coverts
  • Black line through the eye


Photo © by marko.marais
Kalizo lodge, Caprivi strip on the Zambesi river, Namibia, September 2014

Central and southern Africa: North-eastern South Africa, northern and eastern Botswana and north-eastern Namibia, north to Gabon, eastern Zaire and Kenya.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Open woodland, savanna, low-altitude river valleys and floodplains, arid Acacia shrublands.



The nest is at the end of a 1-2m long burrow in an earthen bank, and 2-5 eggs are laid.


The diet includes bees and other flying insects, also locusts and grasshoppers. Unlike Northern Carmine Bee-eater they are inclined to make use of ground-dwelling birds to flush insects.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2016. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2016, with updates to August 2016. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved April 2017)

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