Family Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Least Concern

Somali Bee-eater (Merops revoilii)


French: Guêpier de Révoil German: Somalispint Spanish: Abejaruco somalí

Merops Revoilii


, 1882,



Affinities uncertain, but some evidence that it is closest to the M. bulockiM. bullockoides species-pair. Possibly a close relative of M. albicollis. Monotypic.


Somalia, SW & SE Ethiopia and N & E Kenya.

Descriptive notes

16–18 cm; 12–15 g. The smallest bee-eater after M. pusillus; looks somewhat leggy, often adopting attenuated, heat-shedding stance with body high above... read more


Rather silent. Call is a loud, clear, descending twittering “twee-twee-twee-tee”.


Open Acacia-Commiphora thorn-scrub, arid steppe, grassland with scattered bushes... read more

Food and feeding

Small airborne insects, captured in short sallies from bush.


Breeds in Mar–Jun in Somalia and Kenya, and fledglings once seen in Oct. Poorly known solitary nester. Excavates burrow usually in... read more


Resident, but may move locally.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Very common in NW Somalia; widespread and quite common in SE Ethiopia, and in E Kenya locally common up to 1000 m and W to L Turkana. In SE Kenya,... read more

Recommended citation

Fry, H. & Boesman, P. (2019). Somali Bee-eater (Merops revoilii). 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 23 April 2019).