The European Bee-eater, which breeds in southern Europe, Africa and Western Asia. This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27-29 cm.
As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects,especially Bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before eating its meal, a European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily.
In the city of Cordoba, there is large colony of these birds, known locally as abejarrucos, living within the city on the south side of the river, and show no fear of people.
Searching for food on the ground the head bobs to and fro as it walks. On the wing the hoopoe provides a dazzling effect recalling an erratically flitting butterfly, wings alternately slowly spreading and closing, exposing and concealing black and white barring.
They are a very shy and nervous bird and it is virtually impossible to get close to them. Almost all migrate in autumn - usually at night - to winter in Africa, south of Sahara.