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White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) Fact Sheet: Physical Characteristics

Physical Characteristics

Attribute Male Female
Body Weight 28-38 g (0.1-1.3 oz) 31-35 g (1.1-1.2 oz)
Body Length 21.5-23.5 cm (8.5-9.3 in) 21.5-23.5 cm (8.5-9.3 in)
Wing Length 111-120 mm (4.4-4.7 in) 110-121mm (4.3-4.8)

General Appearance

  • Colorful
    • Off-white forehead
    • Black mask
    • Silky scarlet throat
    • Green back, wings, and tail
  • Medium-sized body
  • Large head
  • Long, black bill
    • Sharp and rigid
    • Somewhat decurved (curves downward)
  • Iris dark brown
  • Medium-to-long wings
  • When flying, a conspicuous black trailing edge to the wings
  • Short legs
  • Three forward-facing toes, partly fused
  • Looks similar to a kingfisher
    • But smaller head and more slender body


  • White forehead and forecrown feathers
    • Appear spiky and/or gray, when worn
  • White cheeks and chin
  • Black mask
  • Scarlet throat
  • Bronze colored hindcrown and hind neck
  • Green wings and tail, with a blue tinge
  • Black, broad trailing edges on wings
  • Green upper surface on spread tail
  • Buff-colored breast and belly
  • Blue thighs and undertail
  • No streamers

Sexual Dimorphism

  • Sexes similar

White-fronted Bee-eater

Page Citations

Fry (1984,1992, 2001)

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