Institution: Woodland Park Zoo

Contact person: Greg Toffic

Phone number: 206-684-4836

Email address: [email protected]


1.  Please list sexes and species of bee-eaters currently held at your institution.

            2.1 Carmines

2.  Note method and company used to sex your birds.

            Purchased as known sex.  We have not subsequently confirmed this.

3. Describe how your birds are banded and discuss any band problems you have had.

Aluminum butt-end bands.  No problems other than they are not easy to see at times.

4.  Please describe your bee-eater diet, including use of beehives, other live food, coloring agents offered.

The birds are fed a diet consisting of a dry mix with meat (based on a dry mix diet from Brookfield Zoo), mealworms, waxworms, and crickets.  These supplements are added:  Necton Tonic 1 and  Betatene, a 2.5% water dispersable betacarotene powder.  A bee hive is located within 100 ft. of the winter holding space, so the bee-eaters obtain bees opportunistically.  On exhibit, the bee-eaters regularly are seen catching and eating bees and wasps.

5.  Please describe your bee-eater exhibits and holding spaces in detail – dimensions, inside or outside, water areas, species exhibited together, etc.

Winter holding: Indoor welded wire flight measuring 8’ X 8’ X 9’ high, with concrete floor.  Adjacent outdoor holding flight 8’ X 25’ X 8’high, with soil substrate and small overhang (roof eave)

Exhibit (late spring ‘til early fall): Mixed species walkthrough of irregular dimensions, approx.  30’ X 40’ with peaked top 8’ at perimeter and 25’ at apex.  Natural soil substrate, planted with shrubs and grasses, with concrete pool.  Housed with a colony of about 20 to 30 half-masked weavers, 2 cattle egret, 2-3 pair small waterfowl (varies, presently hottentots and white-faced whistling ducks), 12-15 speckled mousebirds, and previously 2 violet-backed starlings.

6.  Describe any reproductive activity observed and time of year of occurrence.


7.  Describe parent-rearing behaviors and procedures when young are present (incubation periods, diet offered, frequency of feeding by adults, fledging information), and/or artificial incubation and hand-rearing information.


8.  Have you seen any aggressive behaviors in your birds and in what context?  Any other interesting social behaviors observed?

            Virtually none.  Birds are quite compatible

9.  Please discuss any acclimation and/or medical problems you have had with your birds.

Birds have acclimated very well, but we are conservative with temperature, moving birds from display to winter holding in early fall.  Few medical problems with any birds that arrived in good health.  One male is presently being treated for dyspnea.  

10.  Feel free to add anything else you consider pertinent to bee-eater husbandry.




Please return to Marcia Arland at [email protected] or

FAX #: (718) 733-7300

Or mail to:

Department of Ornithology

WCS/Bronx Zoo

2300 Southern Blvd.

Bronx, NY 10460