Northern carmine bee-eater

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The northern carmine bee-eater (Merops nubicus) is an African near passerine bird in the bee-eater family, Meropidae. Alternative common names include the carmine bee-eater or the Nubian bee-eater. It is closely to the southern carmine bee-eater where the throat is carmine (instead of blue).

It is native to Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Tanzania, Togo and Uganda. It occurs as a vagrant in Burundi.

Ian Smalley and his colleagues suggested that the distribution of the northern carmine bee-eater is tightly linked to the presence of secondary loess deposits throughout Africa.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly colored, slender bird, predominantly carmine in color, except for a greenish blue head and throat and distinctive black mask. This species has red eyes, a black, pointed, decurved beak, and elongated central tail feathers.

The sexes are similar in appearance, and the juveniles can be distinguished from adults by their lack of elongated central tail feathers and the pinkish brown coloration of their mantle, chest to belly, and flanks. source

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