Meropidae (bee-eaters; class Aves, order Coraciiformes)
A family of small to medium-sized, brightly coloured birds which have long, slender, decurved
bills, long, pointed wings, and syndactylous
feet. Many have elongated central tail feathers, others (e.g. Merops
species) have square or forked tails; some have long throat feathers. They inhabit forest and open country, feed on insects, particularly bees and wasps, and nest colonially in burrows in a bank. There are three genera, with 24 species, many migratory, found in Europe
, Africa, Asia
, and Australasia
. (Merops apiaster
is the only species that breeds in Europe.)
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