|Kakamega Forest, Kenya|
The cinnamon-chested bee-eater (Merops oreobates) is a species of bird in the family Meropidae. They are found in Burundi, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania, and Uganda.
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The sexes are alike in the cinnamon-chested bee-eater. They have bright green heads, upper parts, and tails; their chins and throats are yellow and outlined in black, with a white extension to the side; their breasts are cinnamon-brown, darkening towards the belly. When perched, their stance is upright with the tail pointing downward. The tail is blackish with an orange base and white tip when seen from the front, while from the back it is mainly green, with black edges visible when it is flared. This bird can be distinguished from the somewhat similar little bee-eater by their larger size, darker colouring, white cheek patches, and the upland habitat where they are found.
This bird lives in upland regions, usually between 1,800 and 2,300 m (5,900 and 7,500 ft) and can be found associated with wooded hillsides and forest edges, clearings, plantations, and gardens. Their diet consists mainly of honeybees although they also eat moths, butterflies, dragonflies, beetles, and other flying insects. They seem to be an adaptable species and able to withstand loss of their forest habitat. They measure 22 cm (8.7 in) in length and weigh 17–38 g (0.60–1.34 oz).
The cinnamon-chested bee-eater has a very wide range and although the population size has not been quantified, they are thought to be large, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed their conservation status as being of "least concern".
- BirdLife International (2012). "Merops oreobates". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Fry, C. Hilary; Fry, Kathie (2010). Kingfishers, Bee-eaters and Rollers. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 257. ISBN 978-1-4081-3525-9.
- CRC Handbook of Avian Body Masses by John B. Dunning Jr. (Editor). CRC Press (1992), ISBN 978-0-8493-4258-5.