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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: 2016-05-16
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/10.0, 1/320 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2016-07-15 7:12
Viewed: 1392
Points: 16
[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.

Description
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.

Food
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.

Behavior
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

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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6507 W: 89 N: 15620] (65341)
  • [2016-07-15 9:20]

Hi Peter,very lucky with the light,and the result is beautiful,bright colors and fine details too despite the distance and its small dimensiond,very well done! Have a nice weekend and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,
Beautiful photograph of this Bee-eater. From such difficult angle you achieved great details all over; mainly lower portion which is clearly evident.
Thanks for showing with useful NOTE,
Regards and have a nice WE,
Srikumar

hallo Peter
super mooie opname met prachtig licht en de kleuren zijn prachtig
scherpe details met een mooie achtergrond
gr lou

A bee-eater looking at you - great
have a nice day
Pierre

  • Great 
  • Chiza Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 133 W: 0 N: 474] (5351)
  • [2016-07-15 15:11]

Hola peter...hermosa especie y foto del Bee Eater, bien manejada la luz a pesar de la dureza, me gusta la percha, el cielo de fondo y el contacto con el ojo...saludos.

Hello Peter,
Excellent details and very good focus. This specie and his cubs are preparing for migration.......It is difficult now to take some photos....
Marius.

Ciao Peter, great capture of beautiful bird in nice pose, fantastic colors, splendid sharpness and fine details, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2016-07-19 5:58]

Hello Peter,
perfect image, detail, clarity, sharpness etc are all spot on. Nice one.Siggi

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