Considered a subspecies of the blue breasted bee eater up until recently, it was found to be too different to be a subspecies. It is found in rainforests, and is usually on its own.
Its hunting method consists of perching high in the canopy, beside clearings or tracks, and then swooping down on bees or butterflies that happen to pass its way.
They like places of high humidity, and are largely restricted to areas of South-west Ethiopia and across the border in Sudan. While they are not considered endangered, there is no estimate for their population size.
Their diet is similar to other bee eaters on this site (catching various insects, on the wing) and lays its eggs in a burrow, dug into a mud bank or similar.