European Bee-eater at Diergaarde Blijdorp, Rotterdam (Holland)
The European Bee-eater is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe. The European Bee-eater is an incredibly colourful bird with an unmistakable appearance.
In breeding plumage, it has a rich chestnut crown that blends into gold on its back. The forehead is white, the throat is yellow bordered by black, and the underparts are blue. Male European Bee-eaters have a chestnut-coloured patch in the middle of the wing, while in females this patch is usually smaller or even absent. Occasionally, females may also be distinguished from the males by having a green back. The wings and backs of juvenile European Bee-eaters are entirely green, and the eyes are brown, in contrast to the bright red eyes of adults.
The call of the European Bee-eater sounds like a rolling 'prrt'.