Bee-eaters are named for the stinging insects they eat, but they eat other kinds, too. These fast flyers only catch preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food. that are winging around. No matter what they catch, they take it back to a branch and smash the insectA small animal without a backbone. Its body is divided into three parts. Insects have three pairs of legs and usually two pairs of wings. Flies, ants, grasshoppers, and beetles are a few of the many kinds of insects. against the wood before they eat it. Bee-eaters follow large mammals and ground birds (such as ostriches, bustards, and storks) that stir up insects as they move around. They also keep pace with cars, trucks, and tractors in order to preyNoun: An animal that is hunted as food by another animal. Verb: To attempt to take an animal for food. on insects disturbed by the machinery.
There are 26 speciesA group of individuals that have many of the same characteristics, and are different from all other animals in some important way. Hamsters and mice are two different species of rodent. of bee-eaters. They are all very social, and breeding pairs bond for life. They build colonies of nests in burrows in sandy cliffs on hillsides and riverbanks. The white streaks from all the birdAn animal that has wings and is covered with feathers. Birds have a backbone, are warm-blooded, produce young from eggs, and walk on their two legs. Most can fly. droppingsThe dung, or fecal matter, of animals. serve as "paths" to the entrances to the nests.