Family Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Least Concern

Böhm's Bee-eater (Merops boehmi)


French: Guêpier de Böhm German: Böhmspint Spanish: Abejaruco de Boehm

Merops (Melittophagus) boehmi


, 1882,

Bumi, Tanzania


Has sometimes been placed together with M. albicollis in genus Aerops, as both species combine long outer primary with some characters of small Melittophagus group (see M. bullockoides) and with some features of large Merops species. A somewhat enigmatic species, closeness to M. albicollis considered unlikely#R and supposed affiliation with M. orientalis doubtful. Monotypic.


SE DRCongo, SW Tanzania and N & C Zambia, with disjunct population in E Tanzania and C & S Malawi and adjacent Mozambique.

Descriptive notes

16 cm (with streamers, up to 7 cm more); 14·4–20 g. A smallish, rather elegant green bee-eater with cinnamon crown, and rich ochraceous throat without dark... read more


Quiet vocalizations rather similar to those of M. pusillus, including a “sip”... read more


Glades and rides in park-like woodland with large shade trees separated by patches of short grass... read more

Food and feeding

Eats honeybees (Apis) and many other hymenopterans, beetles, grasshoppers, butterflies, cicadas, bugs and many flies; also... read more


Eggs laid in Aug–Oct. Monogamous. Solitary or in small loose colonies; sometimes 2–5 pairs nest within 20 m of each other,... read more


Resident, but evidence of local movements within Lower Shire Valley (Malawi), where absent from... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In general scarce, and unaccountably absent from many areas that look suitable; plentiful around L Suze, in Zaire; uncommon and... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Böhm's Bee-eater (Merops boehmi). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 April 2019).