Uganda’s Treasured Black Bee-eater is a stunningly rare bird species, particularly a member of the Meropidae family and widespread in

Uganda’s Treasured Black Bee-eater

Uganda’s Treasured Black Bee-eater is a stunningly rare bird species, particularly a member of the Meropidae family. It is widespread in western Uganda and West Africa, whose habitats are situated along woodlands, riverine, and forest edges. These bird species always move in pairs due to their solitary nature. This spectacular bee-eater has a unique black and turquoise, with a scarlet throat. The lower breast of its plumage has bright blue streaks with black wings and back. Male and female characteristics are identical, although younger species lack the scarlet throat and are duller. Due to their solitary nature, these bird species typically travel in couples or small flocks.


The Black Bee-eater is distributed across Uganda, where it can be found in a variety of habitats, such as forests and savanna grasslands. In the western and central parts of the nation, where there is plenty of insect prey and lush foliage to support it, it is very common. Its primary food source is insects in flight, such as bees, which it skilfully catches in midair. Open savannas, grasslands, and forest boundaries are common places to find the Black Bee-eater, which is always found in areas with little vegetation and an abundance of insects. Their most common spots to be spotted hunting are on thin leafless vines and thin sticking-out branches above forest canopies, acacia trees, or other raised bear branches. In Uganda, we can easily see this bird in Kibale Forest, Maramagambo occasionally, Buhoma main trail, and the neck between Buhoma and the Ruhija sector in Bwindi Impenetrable Forest National Park.

Appearance (Plumage)

The Black Bee-eater is easily recognised by its vivid blue crown, which stands out strikingly against its glossy black upperparts. The bird’s look is further enhanced by the splash of colour that runs down its nape and onto the elongated middle tail feathers. Along with its dark facial mask, the Black Bee-eater has an attractive white patch on its throat. The Black Bee-eater has magnificent plumage, with glossy black wings, a bright yellow abdomen, breast, and throat, and a black tail. Its back and wing feathers display an iridescent purple-blue sheen when lit properly. The crown and nape are greyish-black, and there is a prominent, lengthy black line above the eye. It is lengthy,


It is common to characterise the Black Bee-eater’s cry as a delicate, melodious series of notes that are high-pitched and piercing, often accompanied by brief first notes that go “sit sit s’sit.”P’sit P’sit Seet… the whole thing sounded a little artificial. The call, which is often made while perched or in flight, is frequently used for pair or family group communication.

Breeding and courtship

During the breeding season, it is one of the best times to see the Black Bee-eater because of its courtship rituals and nesting behaviours. In order to entice possible mates, male Black Bee-eaters are renowned for their intricate courtship displays, which include aerial acrobatics and flaunting their colourful plumage. In sandy or loamy soil, the female Black Bee-eater excavates a tunnel for their nesting site throughout the nesting season. She deposits a clutch of eggs inside this tube, which she nurtures while the male gives her food. When the chicks hatch, they are raised by both parents alternately until they can fly and support themselves.

Feeding Habits of Uganda’s Treasured Black Bee-eater

With its long, thin beak, the Black Bee-eater captures insects in midair, including wasps, bees, and other flying creatures, as its name implies. Behaviour in social settings: Black Bee-eaters are gregarious birds that are frequently seen in small family units or colonies. During breeding season, pairs of them are known to form, demonstrating their monogamous nature.  Breeding: Bug abundance is higher during the rainy season, which is when the breeding season usually takes place. In a tunnel or burrow, the female deposits two to four eggs, which are incubated for roughly twenty days by both parents. Within thirty days, the chicks fledge, and within forty to sixty days more, they are independent.

Conservation efforts of the Black Bee-eater

The Black Bee-eater’s habitats must be preserved in order to guarantee its continued existence in Uganda’s varied ecosystems, which depends on conservation efforts. These fascinating species can be enjoyed for many generations to come through ethical ecotourism and environmentally sound techniques, enhancing Uganda’s biodiversity and the experiences of birdwatching as nature lovers and birdwatchers explore the country’s heritage.

error: Content is protected !!