Bee-eaters in Monfrague

Bee-eaters in Monfrague

Bee-eaters in Monfrague, today we are talking about Bee-eaters, Merops apiaster, in Monfrague. These noisy birds of beautiful colours that aren´t unnoticed, and soon we won´t be able to see them in our fields of Extremadura, because they will undertake his trip to Africa, to spend the winter there.

Bee-eaters in Monfrague

We can listen to them rather than watch them, with that characteristic happy crying. Installed in diverse ecosystems, with a requirement for nesting, soils or sandy slopes.

Bee-eaters digging tunnels between 0.5 – 2 m with a chamber at the end. It will be easy to see these birds perched on a branch or fence near their nests, looking at what will be their food.

Right hole is a nest of Bee-eater.

The Bee-eaters are insectivorous birds that prey on the fly, and as the name suggests, mainly eat bees, also are wasps, dragonflies, butterflies, ants, flies, horse flies, beetles… Sometimes when they catch large insects they kill them knocking them against the branches in a strong clicking that can be heard easily. Near the nests are usually pellets, balls with chitinous remains, heads, legs of insects that are not digested and regurgitate.

Inside the chamber of breeding, chickens wait to their parents to be fed, exists a great hierarchy between Bee-eater chickens.

There is always one of the chickens waiting in the tunnel and the other facing the wall of the chamber, where hunger will play its role for that rotate shifts of position!

The substrate of the camera where the female lays 4-7 eggs consists of pellets and insect larvae that everything is in motion, is alive! These larvae play a role very important in cleaning the nest because they eat excrement and organic remains that there are in the nest. In nature all is interconnected, and it seems incredible which seems less important has an indispensable role to maintaining balance in the ecosystem.

Chickens are already flying for months, and we can still enjoy the blue skies in Extremadura overflown by these colourful and cheerful birds!

Monfragüe Landscape.”Live a unique experience in the wild nature of Extremadura, enjoying our  routes by vehicle and hikers trails on private lands in the heart of Monfrague National Park .”