Bee-eater

The bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a multi-coloured bird of the Meropidae family. It is about 25 cm long with a black, thin and long bill, slightly curved down. It lives in Italy from April to late August, in large flocks that nest in early June in 3-5 m long tunnels dug in sandy cliffs along the coast or in rivers’ canyons. After 20 days, the eggs hatch and both the parents start taking care of their issue.

Bee-eaters are identifiable by their bright colours, the sociable behaviour and the constant warble. In Abruzzo, they can be easily watched in the Nature Reserve Badlands of Atri and along the Trabocchi Coast, especially by the cliff in Ortona, wherein they nest.

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