European Bee-eater

About the European Bee-eater
Also known as: Bee-eater, Eurasian Bee-eater, Golden Bee-eater
European Bee-eater

The European Bee-eater is a very colorful species that breeds across a large range in Europe. This is a migratory species that spends the winter across parts of Africa.

The European Bee-eater is one of 26 species of Bee-eater found in the world. Bee-eaters are aptly named, dining mostly on insects, a large portion of which may be in the form of wasps and bees. They hunt insects on the wing (the insects are always on the wing; perched bugs are ignored!). Bee-eaters remove the stingers of their prey by beating them on a hard surface. This act also removes most of the venom from the prey before it is consumed.

The conservation status for the species is considered to be of Least Concern as of November 2014 with a stable population trend.

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Details & Statistics



The European Bee-eater is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List and was last assessed in 2014 by BirdLife International. This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be stable, and therefore is not thought to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.

International Names

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2013 Bonanza Bird #26: European Bee-eater

There are just a few more days to go in our Bonanza! On Wednesday we will reveal our 500th bird, but today we introduce #26 in the Bonanza and #495 overall - the European Bee-eater. The European Bee-eater is an extremely colorful...  Read more »