Shchurkovye (lat.Meropidae) - a family of birds of the order Rakshiformes (Coraciiformes). They are represented by seven genera, including 21 species. Most of the species live in temperate and tropical parts of Africa, but some of the birds are found in southern Europe, Madagascar, Asia, Australia and New Guinea. Some species are migratory.
Birds with brightly colored dense, shiny, similar plumage in males and females on a slender body. The color is dominated by blue, green and yellow tones. The wings are long, sharp, and the flight is fast. Birds usually have an elongated, slightly curved thin beak. The legs are short, which makes it difficult to move on the ground.
The name itself speaks of their addiction to food. Basically, they use insects, they especially prefer bees, wasps and bumblebees, which are caught on the fly, they eat ants. Catching insects on the fly, they tear off the sting before eating it.
Flock birds. Inhabitants of open spaces, forests avoid. They nest in colonies in burrows dug in cliffs or on level ground.
There are 2-9 white eggs in a clutch. Male and female incubate. Chicks hatch naked. They feed on insects, including wasps and bees, which are caught on the fly, like swallows, or taking off from a branch or cliff.
Exterminating bees near apiaries, they harm beekeeping.
Some representatives are listed on the pages of the "Red Book".
- Swallow-tailed bee-eater - D. hirundinaceus
- Sulawesian bee-eater M. forsteni
Genus Bee-eaters Merops
- White-chinned bee-eater M. albicollis
- Bee-eater M. apiaster
- Boehm's bee-eater M. boehmi
- Black-headed bee-eater M. breweri
- White-fronted bee-eater M. bullockoides
- Red-necked bee-eater M. bulocki
- Bee-eater M. gularis
- Swallow-tailed bee-eater M. hirundineus
- Brown-headed bee-eater M. leschenaulti
- Pink bee-eater M. malimbicus
- Blue-headed bee-eater M. muelleri
- Nubian bee-eater M. nubicus
- M. oreobates
- Lesser green bee-eater M. orientalis
- Rainbow bee-eater M. ornatus
- M. persicus
- Blue-tailed bee-eater M. philippinus
- Dwarf bee-eater M. pusillus
- Somali bee-eater M. revoilii
- Green bee-eater M. superciliosus
- Blue-breasted bee-eater M. variegatus
- Bee-eater M. viridis