We are visiting Northern Botswana (Savuti/ Moremi / Chobe) from August 29 - September 11 this year and I'm hoping to see some carmine bee eaters (birds). But Apollo felt sorry for the young man and turned him into a bee-eater. In the one to two-meter-long tunnel that a pair excavates together, the female lays two to four eggs, two days apart, in the slightly enlarged area at the end of the tunnel. Their predators include monitor lizards, rats and snakes as well as birds of prey. Colonies of up to 1,000 breeding pairs at popular sites have been reported. These white eggs are not round but rather pointed at each end so they are less likely to easily roll out of the tunnel. Pairs are monogamous and stay together over several breeding seasons. Recent scientific news highlights a coming crisis based on research that shows that insect populations around the world are plummeting. No sexual dimorphism occurs with these bee-eaters and it is difficult to distinguish between males and females as they are of the same size and plumage. This is a highly sociable species, gathering in large flocks, in or out of breeding season. Being aerial insectivores these bee-eaters have long, pointed wings. Nyctyornis is restricted to Asia, ranging from Indi… The bee eaters will have nested in the hills along the river and will be extremely active catching insects to feed the young. Southern Carmine Bee-eaters will gather in large colonies when breeding, especially at certain high riverbanks where excavating their tunnel nests is easier. Copyright 2015 Bird Life Botswana. Ground Hornbills have been observed with Carmine Bee-eaters flying above them as they walked along disturbing insects and Botswana’s national bird the Kori Bustard is a favourite hunting perch for these bee-eaters. Southern Carmine Bee-eater. We visited one of these breeding colonies on the banks of the Zambezi River in northern Namibia, and the sight of 1,000+ birds occupying a tiny piece of sandy river bank is a memory that will linger a long time. They circle larger animals and even cars to catch the insects that are trying to escape. The largest of the southern African bee-eaters, with a length of approximately 25 cm excluding the 12 cm tail streamers, the Southern carmine bee-eater has plumage of a magnificent pinkish-red (carmine!) The former are called Se.selamarumo in Setswana – which is the generic term for bee-eaters. Those are:  Blue-cheeked Bee-eater, European Bee-eater, Little Bee-eater, Olive Bee-eater, Southern Carmine Bee-eater, Swallow-tailed Bee-eater and White-fronted Bee-eater. Bee-eaters are very colourful and the Southern Carmine Bee-Eater is considered the most striking of all. Most of the information about incubation times and parental care comes not from observations in the wild but from zoos and other like institutions that keep Southern Carmine Bee-eaters in captivity in the U.S.A. and other places where incubation periods are recorded of 20 – 21 days, with incubation starting when the first egg is laid. Hello all, This is a very specific question, perhaps someone may know the answer. A flock of Southern Carmine Bee-eaters near a colony along the Zambezi River in Namibia’s Caprivi Strip by Adam Riley. How will insectivorous birds such as the Southern Carmine Bee-eater survive should there be a continued rapid decline in insect numbers in the coming decades? Usually a new tunnel nest is dug out by a pair each year as the parents do not remove the chicks’ faeces or food remains and the nest becomes fouled. The Southern carmine bee-eater occurs from KwaZulu-Natal and Namibia to Gabon, the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya. Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th edition (John Voelcker Fund, 1993), This page was last edited on 29 December 2019, at 16:14. Wikipedia reports in its Bee-eater Culture section that as far back as Aristotle writers such as he advised beekeepers to kill bee-eaters so as to protect their hives.