Aves, p�le ornithologique de Natagora

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Aves, 37/1-2 | 2000 | 1-32

  Breeding of European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) in Wallonia and its status in Belgium.
Jacob, J.-P. & Matgen, O.

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The European Bee-eater was formerly known as an occasional visitor and breeder in Belgium. This status evolved during the last two decades and singularly in the nineties. Since 1984, Bee-eaters have become rare annual visitors (Fig.2) between April and September (Fig. 3). They nest since 1993 in the south-western half of the country (1-3 pairs per year between 1993 and 1999, distribution on Fig. 1). The paper describes recent breedings in Wallonia : 1993 in Famenne (1 pair), 1994, 1995 and 1999 in Belgian Lorraine (3, 1 and 1 pairs). Data on breeding sites, nest structure, diet, interactions with other species (notably mobbing by hirundine, in particular swallows,Hirundo rustica), breeding cases and success, are given. A high proportion of pairs appear to succeed in their breeding attempts, producing good fledgling numbers, such that the establishment of extralimital populations (border between France and Belgium) might occur without continuous immigration.