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any of the brightly colored, insect-eating birds of the family Meropidae. They range in length from 6 to 14 in. (15–36 cm). The plumage of many species is predominantly green but usually includes a variety of other bright colors. Many species have a black stripe running from the eye to the base of the long, sharp bill. They are found throughout the tropical and warm-temperate Old World but are most numerous in the tropical regions of Africa and Asia. Some species are migratory, and the few that breed in temperate areas, such as Merops apiaster, the common, or European, bee-eater, winter in the tropics. Most of the Meropidae are gregarious, and the birds of some species travel in flocks of hundreds or thousands of individuals. The nests of most species are colonial burrows, excavated in the sand of riverbanks or road grades. Bee-eaters catch insects on the wing; they subsist primarily upon bees and wasps. They are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Coraciiformes, family Meropidae.
References in periodicals archive ?
Bee Eater is thoroughly reliable, she has won on a range of ground from good to firm to heavy, and her victory over a field of tough handicappers last time at Newmarket shows she is maturing fast.
As a grand daughter of the brilliant Marwell, Bee Eater has a lot to live up to and there's no doubt she has her quirks what with her tail-swishing traits.
BENEFITS Most species are suffering - but the bee eater, top, the hoopee, above, and the Sardinian warbler, right, may come north.
Having overcome greenness to land a Haydock maiden on her debut in June, Bee Eater found an ordinary BHB mark of 76 too much on her handicap debut at Newmarket later that month, but her progress since has been notable.
Look no further than the sprinter Bee Eater, who burnt up the July course to record a three-timer with that trademark tail flash in evidence
The Sir Mark Prescott-trained Bee Eater defied a slow start and signs of inexperience to get up late on, and Hanagan said: "She was very green - she was probably in the stalls longer than I wanted.
BEE EATER could put her illustrious breeding to a sterner test after making it three wins from four starts in the 6f fillies' event at Newmarket.
Her biggest danger looks to be another lightly raced, progressive rival, Bee Eater.
A FAMOUS set of silks were seen to the fore on a low-key card when Bee Eater landed the featured 6f handicap.
The incident about the European Bee Eaters (had never heard of them before) that made a surprise entry into her garden taking the lady by surprise was charming.
Growing up in a teepee on the side of a remote Northern California mountain, never attending a traditional school and beginning music lessons at age 2 are all elements that shaped the brother-sister group the Bee Eaters.