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European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2016-05-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/1600 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-06-17 4:29
Viewed: 1861
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meopidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly-coloured, slender bird. It has brown and yellow upper parts, whilst the wings are green and the beak is black. It can reach a length of 27–29 cm., including the two elongated central tail feathers. Sexes are alike.

This bird breeds in open country in warmer climates. As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps, and hornets. They catch insects in flight, in sorties from an open perch. Before eating a bee, the European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It can eat around 250 bees a day.
The most important prey item in their diet is Hymenoptera, mostly Apis mellifera. A study in Spain found that these comprise 69.4% to 82% of the European Bee-eaters' diet. Their impact on bee populations, however, is small. They eat less than 1% of the worker bees in areas where they live.
A study found that European Bee-eaters "convert food to body weight more efficiently if they are fed a mixture of bees and dragonflies than if they eat only bees or only dragonflies.

These bee-eaters are gregarious—nesting colonially in sandy banks, preferably near river shores, usually at the beginning of May. They make a relatively long tunnel, in which they lay five to eight spherical white eggs around the beginning of June. Both male and female care for the eggs, which they brood for about three weeks. They also feed and roost communally.
During courtship, the male feeds large items to the female while eating the small ones himself. Most males are monogamous, but occasional bigamy has been encountered. Their typical call is a distinctive, mellow, liquid and burry prreee or prruup.

Source: Wikipedia

Hotelcalifornia, pierrefonds, CeltickRanger, marius-secan, njmv79 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To tuslaw: MatingPeterZ 1 06-17 11:41
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter

Very impressive and informative post, excellent composition, excellent DOF and clarity, very beautiful natural colors, nice blue contrasting BG.



  • Great 
  • Pahad (82)
  • [2016-06-17 7:59]

Hello Peter
You got 2 bird in one shot noce colour and comp.

Greatings from Himalaya


Hello Peter
Nice couple, timely captured with these open wings.
Interesting pattern and bright colors. Good work.


Hello Peter,
Well captured these Bee eaters in its natural habitat. Well exposure; mainly underwing details are well visible. Nice colorful bird.
Thanks for showing with well informative NOTE,
regards and have a nice WE,

Ciso Peter, great capture of lovely couple, fantastic colors, fine details and splendid sharpness, very well done, my friend, have a good week end, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2016-06-17 11:35]
  • [+]

Hello Peter,
When I first viewed the thumbnail I thought they were mating, but now see they are just perched close together. I like being able to finally see the markings and colors from beneath their wings. Beautiful birds and one of my favorites since joining TN. Good eye contact with a tad bit of catchlight and perfectly exposed.

Hi Peter,

The branches are helping to frame the birds. The point of view is showing the details of the European Bee-eater. The good luminosity is giving nice tints to the colors. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2016-06-18 9:19]

Hola Peter...hermosa especie y momento captó en esta bella foto, un poco quemada por la fuerte luz pero aún así una bella toma...saludos.

Hello Peter

WOW ! what a lovely photography, taken at the best moment,
fine POV with eye-contacts with both Bee-eaters, beautiful light,
excellent focus, sharpness, details, and contrast, TFS


  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2016-06-19 2:47]

Hi Peter.Fantastic capture of this couple of bee eater,nice timing to take the left one with the open wings,impressive sharpness and bright colors too,well done! Have a nice Sunday and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,
Nice image with the most colorful migrating birds in my region. This is a perfect image with great contrast and sharp details.

Would prefer if he was a fly or mosquito eater, bees are important to us and our ecosystem ;), but what a lovely picture, very well exposed and the colors are stunning.

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