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Whitethroated Beeater

Whitethroated Beeater
Photo Information
Copyright: Phil Cannings (PhilC) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 24 W: 25 N: 117] (551)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-03
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds, 100-400L is
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/400 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Date Submitted: 2006-11-29 4:21
Viewed: 4554
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Where I stayed in Naivasha beeaters were plentiful and were often very obliging subjects for photograpsh - this is a White Fronted Bee-Eater - Merops bullockoides - which occurs in the southern tropics in wooded savanahs and sandy cliffs. It is sitting on a concrete post not far from the classroom we were using and these posts provided excellent hunting points for many species and this is one of a number of species I photographed in a similar pose during breaks in the teaching. I think the students thought me a bit daft disapearing with my camera at every coffee break.

Bee-Eaters were plentiful after we had some rains, but until we did have the rains the bird life was a bit scarce and then noticeably changed after the rains. Before we had rain there were some resident birds, after the rains started we saw many other species, often in flocks obviously utilising the new food sources opened up to them.

As the name suggests this species eats bees and wasps and these make up the bulk of their diet. This is about 50% honey bees, other bees and wasps 38% and the last 12% being made up from beetles, dragonflies, bugs etc. They hunt on the wing, sallying from perches to hunt, but also have a distinctive behaviour where they swoop low from one perch to another and glean insects from the ground in between.

Particulary common in Zambia and Zimbabwe with over a 1000 colonies it is very local in Kenya and restricted to the southwest and highlands.

They nest in tunnels they excavate in sandy cliffs and there are normally 20-30 nests with up to 150 birds, although super colonies with up to 450 nests have been recorded.

Bee-Eaters are colonial and will defend a large territory as a clan, centred on their nesting area.

Regards - Phil.

elefantino, clnaef, BEHRAD, horia has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Bello scatto, ottima posa e definizione.

Magnifique portrait bien cadré.
Bonne journée.

Hi Phil
Great shot.Good composition and colours.
But I did some changes,hope you like it.
Im waitiong for your comments.


  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-11-29 16:53]

Hi Phil

This is really a very beautiful capture!
The low POV indeed does well to show most of the lovley features of this beautiful bird plus gives the entire picture an awsome perfect-blue BG.
The details are very clean and sharp, the colors lovely and well saturated and the lighting impecable.
Great composition and note, too!

Bravo and TFS

  • Great 
  • jossim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1538 W: 5 N: 2240] (12636)
  • [2006-11-29 19:18]

Excellente prise de vue sur ce magnifique oiseau.Les couleurs sont parfaitement exposées et la netteté est parfaite.


  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-11-30 3:14]

Such a cute and unusual bird, Phil.
Very colorful.
I like the fluffy feathers captured in sharp details.
Beautiful light and pose.
TFS. : )

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