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with scattered trees. Its principal requirement is for an abundance of flying insects which it hunts, often gregariously, from perches on vantage points. In Europe it preys particularly upon Bombus spp. (Bumblebees) and Apis mellifera (Honey Bee). It usually breeds colonially and requires suitable slopes or sandy banks into which it can excavate its nest burrows. Migratory, birds from western Europe wintering in tropical west Africa, those from eastern Europe in south-east Africa.

Simulated present distribution (AUC = 0·968; k = 0·814)

Simulated late 21st century distribution (R = 1·45; O = 0·71)

This species breeds mainly where annual temperature sum exceeds ca. 1750 degree days above 5°C, coldest month mean temperature is above ca. –10°C, and there is at least slight seasonal moisture deficiency (AET/PET ≤ 0·95), although it also extends sparsely to moister areas. Its avoidance of oceanic areas is reflected also by a coldest

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