The African Bee-Eater bird is not actually one specific bird, but a collection of around 20 species. They populate the entire continent, from southern tip to northern tip, and often fly in large groups. Plus, as the name indicates, they actually do feed on bees!
In addition to looking marvelous, Bee-Eaters employ a strange and unique tactic when it comes to hunting for prey. Oftentimes, they will latch on to another animal, such as the Arabian Bustard, and sit quietly while they wait for an insect to fly past, at which point they will feverishly chase it down. These birds have also been known to ride elephants, which must be quite a sight to see!
Below is a picture of a Rainbow Bee-Eater:
One other distinction that makes the Bee-Eater birds unique is that they, like humans, are primarily monogamous, meaning that they mate with a single partner for their entire lives. Furthermore, both parents provide extensive care to their offspring, something that is considered unusual among birds. Even more impressive - the rest of the colony will often help to raise the "children" of other birds!
The colors on some of the species of Bee-Eaters are mind-blowing, and I hope that you enjoyed this little dose of nature's beauty!
[via 10,000 Birds ]
[via Creagrus@Monterey Bay ]
[via Birds in Backyards ]