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Merops orientalis cleopatra
This is a small and particularly beautiful bee-eater. They are agile aerial predators and will catch insects on the wing. If they catch a bee or other stinging insect they will return to a perch and bang their quarry against a branch, removing the stinger and squeezing it to squirt out the venom before eating it.
This was found outside of Dendera Temple, near Luxor and was a nice bit of colour amongst the drab ruins! The north African subspecies (pictured) has a green throat but that of the Arabian subspecies is a brilliant bright blue.
Spotted on Dec 27, 2012
Submitted on May 14, 2013