The bee-eaters are a group of near-passerine birds in the family Meropidae, containing three genera and twenty-seven species. Most species are found in Africa and Asia, with a few in southern Europe, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterized by richly colored plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All have long down-turned bills and medium to long wings, which may be pointed or round. Male and female plumages are usually similar.
As their name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught on the wing from an open perch. The stinger is removed by repeatedly hitting and rubbing the insect on a hard surface. During this process, pressure is applied to the insect, thereby discharging most of the venom.
Most bee-eaters are gregarious. They form colonies, nesting in burrows which are tunneled into vertical sandy banks, often at the side of a river or in flat ground. As they mostly live in colonies, large numbers of nest holes may be seen together. The eggs are white, with typically five to the clutch. Most species are monogamous, and both parents care for the young, sometimes with assistance from related birds in the colony.
Their conspicuous appearance means that they have been mentioned by ancient writers and incorporated into mythology. In Greek mythology, the Theban Botres was fatally struck by his father when he desecrated a ritual sacrifice of a ram to the god Apollo by tasting the victim's brains. The god took pity on him, turning him into a bee-eater.
The Ancient Egyptians believed that bee-eaters had medical properties, prescribing the application of bee-eater fat to deter biting flies, and treating the eyes with the smoke from charred bee-eater legs to cure an unspecified female complaint.
In Hinduism, the shape of the bird in flight was thought to resemble a bow, with the long bill as an arrow. This led to a Sanskrit name meaning "Vishnu's bow" and an association with archer gods. Scandalmongers were thought to be reincarnated as bee-eaters, because of the metaphorical poison they bore in their mouths.
Bee-eaters have been depicted on the postage stamps of at least 38 countries, the European and Carmine bee-eaters being the most common subjects, with 18 and 11 countries respectively.
What's Included & Features:
Models (.cr2/.obj and .duf formats)
* Syndactyl Base
Bird Species(.cr2/.obj and.duf formats with 4K texture maps)
Kingfishers (Order Coraciiformes)
* Red-bearded Bee-Eater (m/f)
* Blue-bearded Bee-Eater
* Purple-bearded Bee-Eater
* Blue-tailed Bee-Eater
* Blue-throated Bee-Eater
* Rainbow Bee-Eater (m/f)
* European Bee-Eater (m/f)
* Chestnut-headed Bee-Eater
* Northern Carmine Bee-Eater (m/f)
* Southern Carmine Bee-Eater (m/f)
* Böhm's Bee-Eater (m/f)
* White-fronted Bee-Eater
* Rosy Bee-Eater (m/f)
Poses (.pz2 and .duf formats)
* Syndactyl-Zero Pose
* Bee-eater Classic
* Bee-eater Flight Catch
* Perch Upright
Field Guide and Manual in .PDF format (Includes detailed information about behavior, nesting and range)