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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.
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
Ultimately, he was caught on the line by the well-backed Bee Eater but the colt - who is out of speedy Molecomb winner Inya Lake - can reap the benefits of his debut and is an obvious sort to open his account very shortly.
The bee eater, one of 133 birds to include the wasp in their diet, counteracts the sting by rubbing the insect against a branch or tree trunk before scoffing it.
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.
Bee Eater was a decisive winner of the 6f fillies' handicap at Newmarket yesterday.
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.
There were memories of the top mare Marwell as Bee Eater, a granddaughter of the champion sprinter, carried the same colours of owner Sir Edmund Loder to a debut victory in the 6f maiden under Paul Hanagan, who was successful on Peruvian Prince later on.
On another occasion I walked with two mates to an Acacia tree that was situated on the river bank, and we knew was adjacent to a nesting colony of Carmine bee eaters.