Kenya Birds

Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater


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Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater

Photograph(s) Copyright ©P&H HARRIS

Merops oreobates

Other Names

  English Cinnamon-breasted Bee-eater   French GuÍpier montagnard   German Bergspint   Spanish Abejaruco Montano       Italian Gruccione pettocannella

World: East African highlands from E Zaire, Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, S Sudan and extreme S Ethiopia.

Kenya: Common in the highland regions W of 38°E and S of 2°N. This represents the eastern extreme of this birds range.

This beautiful Bee-eater has long been one of our favourite birds. It is a characteristic bird of the Highlands and can typically be found associated with wooded hillsides and forest edges. It can be told apart from the similar but lower elevation Little Bee-eater by its larger size, overall darker colouring and its white cheek patches. Studies in Kenya have shown that Cinnamon-chested Bee-eater's diet consists predominantly of honeybees although it will also eat moths, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles and other flying insects. Despite its close association with woodland and forests it appears to be an adaptable species and seems able to withstand loss of its forest habitat.

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