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Carmine Beater

It is one of the largest of the bee eater family at 13.5 inches long. Carmine Bee-eaters are social birds breeding in colonies on river banks and foraging out over open country. Bee-eaters are insectivores, hunting mainly by keeping watch for flying insects from a perch where it beats the prey against the perch until it is inactive. A stinging insect is held near the tip of its tail and rubbed on the perch to be relieved of the venom and sting before being swallowed whole. Carmine Bee-eaters are attracted to bush fires to prey upon fleeing insects.

Carmine Bee-eaters nest in large colonies in cliffs, usually near river banks, where they dig long horizontal tunnels often eight feet or more long with their bills. Three to five eggs are laid per clutch. Both parents take part in excavating the nest, incubating the eggs and caring for the young.

There is a possibility that some species may be depleted if commercial bee-keeping developed in Africa, as they may be seen as pests to the apiaries. Bee-eaters are known to eat hornets and other honey-bee eating insects, so, in the long run, it would most likely benefit bee-keepers not to disturb the birds

Carmine Bee Eater
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