Dynamics in numbers of group-roosting individuals in relation to pair-sleeping occurrence and onset of egg-laying in European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster

Liviu G. Pârâu (Corresponding author), Sjouke A. Kingma, Simon E. Weigl, Hannah L. Dugdale, Catherine M. Lessells, Julia Schroeder

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

1 Downloads (Pure)


Sleeping in the nest at the beginning of the breeding season is common for birds nesting in cavities. Here, we report evidence that European Bee-eaters Merops apiaster sleep in pairs in the nesting burrow. In 3.2% of the nest checks, we found two individuals sleeping together. This behaviour ceased once hatching started. A decrease in the number of birds at a communal roost coincided with the incidences of pair-sleeping and initiation of egg-laying. Thus, checking the burrows of European Bee-eaters at the beginning of the breeding season increases the chance of observing pair-sleeping.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1119-1122
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Ornithology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2017



  • international

Cite this