Scientific Journal of the BirdLife Hungary

A Magyar Madártani és Természetvédelmi Egyesület tudományos folyóirata

Ornis Hungarica. vol.2. (1992) p.11-16.

The delivery of surplus prey to the nest by a pair of Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster)
G. Horváth, M. H. Fischer and T. Székely

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Observations are presented on the delivery of surplus food to the nest of a pair of Bee-eaters, including the quantity and species composition and size of surplus food items. Tle delivery of surplus food may be explained by (1) the death of young, (2) the arrival of helpers, (3) increased success of prey capture because of the discovery of a rich food supply nearby, or (4) an aversion of the nestlings to venomous bumblebees which are fed when other food for the nestlings is unavailable. The delivery of surplus food suggests that the adjustment of food delivery to the nest is not a quick process, and that the adults need a few days to adjust their effort to the requirements of the nestling.