The Carmine Bee-eaters are back! - News - Gondwana Collection

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The Carmine Bee-eaters are back!

Avatar of inke inke - 17. September 2018 - Gondwana Collection, Environment

Flying insects are the staple diet of Carmine Bee-eaters.

Dirk Heinrich

Their numbers are increasing daily – the Carmine Bee-eaters are back at the breeding colony between Zambezi Mubala Camp and Zambezi Mubala Lodge (formerly Kalizo Lodge). They have safely made the long trip from their winter habitats in East Africa to Namibia. For many years the colourful birds have been breeding at the same site next to the Zambezi River, where they dig nesting tunnels of up to two metres deep. This year a group of several hundred birds has chosen a nesting site between the lodge and the usual colony. The new site is a steep section of the embankment where some White-fronted Bee-eaters are also raising their young in nesting tunnels. 

It is important that visitors do not disturb the Carmine Bee-eaters’ upcoming breeding season. The birds have become accustomed to people approaching the breeding colony to take photos. It must be strictly avoided, however, to walk right across the breeding area, as this may cause the nesting tunnels to collapse which in turn may prompt the carmine-coloured birds to abandon breeding.

Some 15 km downstream from Zambezi Mubala Lodge another smaller colony of Carmine Bee-eaters is busy digging their nesting tunnels into the hard white ground at the riverbank.

A Carmine Bee-eater takes his daily bath in the river late in the afternoon.

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