Because their prey is poisonous, bee-eaters undertake a complicated process to assure poison is removed before eating. After taking caught prey back to the perch, bee-eaters toss it into the air, catching it with its bill tip. They strike it several times against the perch. In an action called bee-rubbing, bee-eaters grab the insect's tail tip, quickly rubbing the body against the perch to squeeze out the bee's fluid. They gradually grab the insect around its abdomen in order to expel leftover venom, eventually tearing out the stinger and poison glands. The food is then safely swallowed whole.

on the species and soil type. The burrow ends in an unlined chamber nest.

Females lay two to four white eggs in the tropics, and up to seven eggs in drier climates. The incubation period (the time spent sitting on eggs) is eighteen to twenty-three days. Females do most of the incubating at night, while both share sitting duties during the day. Both parents share feeding of the young along with any helpers. Hatchlings are pink, blind, and naked. Their skin soon turns gray, eyes open, and spiny feathers appear. The nestling period (the time it takes young to leave the nest after hatching) is between twenty-four and thrity-two days. After one year, bee-eaters either breed or become a helper to a breeding pair.

0 0

Post a comment