Family Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Least Concern

Rosy Bee-eater (Merops malimbicus)


French: Guêpier gris-rose German: Rosenspint Spanish: Abejaruco de Malimba

Merops malimbicus


, 1806,

Malimbe, Cabinda, Angola


Recent molecular study suggested that closest relatives of present species are M. albicollis and M. nubicus#R. Monotypic.


Nigeria S to Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Congo and Cabinda (N Angola), and W & WC DRCongo; regular migrant W to W Ghana.

Descriptive notes

22–25 cm (with streamers, up to 5 cm more), c. 45 g. A long-winged bee-eater, with unmistakable plumage coloration. Adult slate-grey above, vivid pink below; black mask... read more


Not unlike some vocalizations of M. apiaster or M. superciliosus, a hoarse... read more


Inhabits airspace above rainforest and mesic savanna woodland, foraging around trees emergent from... read more

Food and feeding

Small flying ants greatly predominate in diet (70% in Nigerian study); however, species also consumes large numbers of honeybees (Apis... read more


Lays in May–Jun on R Niger and probably in Feb–Apr on lower R Congo; on coast of Cabinda (N Angola) breeds soon after arrival... read more


Present at breeding sites on R Niger and R Benue in Nigeria in Apr–Jun or May–Jul, and... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. May merit reclassification as threatened species. Locally common in parts of Ghana, Nigeria, Gabon, Congo and Zaire, but absent or sporadic in other... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Rosy Bee-eater (Merops malimbicus). 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 20 February 2020).