Little Bee-eater ( Merops pusillus, family: Meropidae)

little bee eater kruger national park birds The Little Bee-eater (Latin name Merops pusillus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 444 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 187 also a picture of the Little Bee-eater on page 192. The Little Bee-eater belongs to the family of birds classified as Meropidae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

The Little Bee-eater is neither Endemic or near Endemic to the Kruger National Park. It is however a common resident

In terms of distribution of the Little Bee-eater in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Little Bee-eater : see above distribution map.

The Little Bee-eater.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

One of the first indicators to take note of when trying to identify a bird is it relative size. For example how big is the bird compared to a well known familiar bird. The Little Bee-eater is a small bird about the size of a house sparrow. Do not take this relative indicator as anything other than a rough easy to remember indicator. It is not a accurate visualization. The height of the Little Bee-eater is about 17 cms and its weight is about 15 gms

The male and female Little Bee-eater have the same plumage and colours

  • Head is green.
  • Eye is red.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is yellow.
  • Back is green.
  • Legs are grey.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Little Bee-eater feeds on the ground and in or around water mainly


Aquatic life forms

Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Little Bee-eater is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Merops pusillus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Little Bee-eater is to create the nest in a hole in the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 6

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Little Bee-eater are: grasslands

You will normally see the Little Bee-eater in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Unknown

Zulu ... iNkotha

Afrikaans ...Kleinbyvreter

German ... Zwergspint, Zwergbienenfresser

Portuguese ... Abelharuco-dourado

French ... Gupier nain

Dutch ... Dwergbijeneter

First bird in list | Previous bird viewed | Next KNP bird | Last bird in list

For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 444

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,