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Carmine Bee Eater

Carmine Bee Eater
Photo Information
Copyright: Paul van Slooten (pvs) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2007-02-25
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Alfa dSLR A100, Sigma 50-500mm f/4-6.3 EX APO DG, Digital RAW 100, bean bag
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/125 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Krugerpark feb/mar 2007
Date Submitted: 2008-02-07 4:10
Viewed: 5368
Points: 22
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Today once again an upload from last years visit in the krugerpark,the picture is mad on a rainy day near the satara region,I will remember this afternoon game drive for a long time as we were driving that evening on a rather muddy road,while we were driving an awfull peeping noise sounded from the left side of the car,as we did not want to get out we continued slowly scaring all wildlife away with this sound,anyway after minutes it stopped while we drove through a waterbassin on the road,probably a stone between the brakes caused the sound and was washed away by the water.Anyway we found this nice colored bee eater and could make a few capture,hope you like it and tfw,

Carmine Bee-eaters

Carmine Bee-eaters are carmine in color, except for its greenish blue head and throat, and the bold black mask-like stripe across their eyes. Their eyes are red and they have a black pointed decurved beak. Their central tail feathers are elongated. Their legs and feet are blackish brown. The sexes are similar in appearance. It is one of the largest species of Merops at 35cm (13.5 in.) long. Young birds lack the elongated central tail feathers and are pinkish brown on the mantle, chest to belly, and flanks.

Carmine Bee-eaters inhabit a belt of country from Senegal in the west to Abyssinia and Somalia in the east. During non-breeding seasons they migrate south to Kenya, Zaire, and Tanzania. The Bee-eater family is believed to have arisen in Southeast Asia rain forests and spread to Africa. Ancestral populations differentiated as a result of having been isolated in rain forest between northern and southern tropical savanna. Carmine Bee-eaters (M. nubicus) and Southern Carmine Bee-eaters (M. nubicoides) are believed to have diverged from a common ancestor only about 13,000 years ago. The Southern Carmine Bee-eater differs from the Carmine Bee-eater in appearance having a carmine throat not greenish blue. The Southern Carmine Bee-eater inhabits Angola and northern South-West Africa to Malawi, Mozambique, Transvaal and Natal. In non-breeding season it migrates to the Congo and western Tanzania. Its nesting and feeding habits are similar to that of the Carmine Bee-eater.

Bee-eaters hunt mainly by keeping watch for flying insects from a perch. The insect is snapped up in the bill, then the bird returns to the perch, where it beats the prey against the perch until it is inactive. A stinging insect is held near the tip of its tail and rubbed on the perch to be relieved of the venom and sting before being swallowed whole. Besides branches, Carmine Bee-eaters use the backs of game or cattle and even large birds, such as Jacksons Bustard or Storks as animate perches, waiting to catch any insects that they disturb. Carmine Bee-eaters also fly freely to bush fires to prey upon fleeing insects.

Bee-eaters are insectivorous, eating mainly flying insects. Besides bees, Carmine Bee-eaters feed on grasshoppers and locust. They nest in large colonies in cliffs, usually near river banks, where they dig long horizontal tunnels often eight feet or more long with their bills. Three to five eggs are laid per clutch. The eggs are white and glossy and about 25x21 mm. In a large colony there is the possibility of indiscriminate laying of eggs in any of several adjacent holes. Both parents take part in excavating the nest, incubating the eggs and caring for the young. No bee-eater species is greatly threatened. There is a possibility that some species may be depleted if commercial bee-keeping developed in Africa, as they may be seen as pests to the apiaries. Bee-eaters are known to eat hornets, beewolves and other honey-bee eating insects, so, in the long run, it would most likely benefit bee-keepers not to disturb the birds.

darwin, viv, Alex99, vanderschelden, MMM has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Paul
Nice shot
Fine detail
Lovely color
tfs jon

  • Great 
  • viv Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
  • [2008-02-07 6:25]

Hi Paul,
Great shot of this bee eater, I have seen this colourbird also and hop to upload it too.
Beautifull colours and full with details.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-02-07 6:50]

Hi Paul.
I like pictured scene a lot. It is clear the bird is amazing. Very nice coloration and wonderful tail. But reproduction of the scenery is great too. Blurriness of the BG and pleasantness of its colour palette are superb. TFS and greetings.

Hi Paul
Really nice shot of this colorful bird captured with good quality.

Hello Paul,
I can't remember spotting this one.
I do remember though that cars and Kruger can generate 'funny' stories.
Hope to photograph the Carmine bee-eater next time I visit Africa.

Hi Paul, very nice colorfull shot,
this bird is splendid and very well photographied, excellent focus and point of view,
lovely composition,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-02-07 13:01]

Hallo Paul,
Hoewel de omstandigheden niet ideaal waren, maken de prachtige kleuren van deze Bijeneter veel goed. De scherpte is ondanks het gebrekkige licht erg goed. Goede compositie.

  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-02-07 14:08]

Hi Paul
Nice presentation of a species I had never seen.I like the pose of your subject.Colors are also very nice.well composed image.
TFS Michel

Hello Paul nice colours good pov and composition. Good clear shot of the bird free from branches in a difficult environment to shot tfs rgds Necip.

bonjour paul
il manque peut etre un peu de lumiere,notamment au niveau de l'oeil qui se confond dans le noir de la tÍte mais c'est un superbe oiseau,tres haut en couleur.
merci pour le partage.

Beautiful shot of this little Carmine Bee-eater! I think because it seems to be an overcast day, that the ligthing on this little bird is just wonderful and you've captured it so well. Very nicely done!

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