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Stonechats are Bee Eaters

Stonechats are Bee Eaters
Photo Information
Copyright: Ivan Kruys (Argus) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-04-21
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 400D, Canon EF 300 f4L + Canon 1.4 converter
Exposure: f/5.6, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -2- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-06-10 1:43
Viewed: 5531
Points: 84
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Vi visited a delightful small fishing village that was relatively unspoilt by tourism. From the car, in a small bushy open area we saw a pair of Stonechats (Saxicola torquata) busy catching insects to feed their young in a nearby nest. We took a few shots and hurried away to minimise disturbance.

Later a closer inspection of this image revealed that this male was ready to feed his nestlings with a bee!
The long antennae suggest that this is not a a honey bee but a species of bee that is certainly capable of stinging.

Nature photography is a good way of learning more about nature. On this occasion I learnt that not only bee-eaters and larger insect eaters are capable of disarming a bee in order to feed on it, but Stonechats and presumably related birds like Wheatears can feed on bees!

The Stonechat is resident and relatively common in the right open habitat in the UK and S. Europe but it is a rare occasional summer visitor to Scandinavia and the Baltic countries. It is a regular summer visitor to C. Europe, from where it spends the winter in N. Africa. It is found in Europe and Asia as several races.

This was taken at a distance of about 6 meters with the camera supported by the car. After moderate cropping and size reduction only slight sharpening was necessary

Juyona, mayuresh, nikosrio, ramthakur, anilnediyara, SelenE, eng55, sandpiper2, eqshannon, boreocypriensis, jaycee, maurydv, Amadeo, matatur, Jamesp, pekkavalo1, CeltickRanger, gracious, Janice, MMM, goldyrs, iris, rousettus, haraprasan, chrisruth, amanengone has marked this note useful
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To goldyrs: ThanksArgus 1 06-11 22:38
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Juyona Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor [C: 2232 W: 10 N: 2971] (16891)
  • [2008-06-10 1:51]

Hola Ivan,
buena captura y pov,
bg, y buenos detalles,
foco y color hermosos,

Hello Ivan,
superb shot with great sharpness,nice composition and pov.
well done.

Ottimo scatto; davvero molto bello: complimenti.

Ciao e grazie, Emanuele

Hi Ivan,
good shot of this nice bird.

  • Great 
  • jesst Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 368 W: 0 N: 172] (2441)
  • [2008-06-10 2:50]

Great capture and wonderful sharp and detail

Hello Ivan,

Excellent capture of this beautiful bird. Excellent composition. Great pose of the bird with the bee in its beak. Great sharpness. The detail of the feathers is very good. Very good light and splendid colours.

Hello Ivan,
Amazing shot,great light color and sharpness.Very interesting composition.

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-06-10 3:12]

Hello Ivan, Pretty sharp and superb picture. Excellen composition and wonderful sharpness. I can even see the fly in the beak very clearly. Ganesh

Hi Ivan
Wonderful composition with excellent sharpness and detail
tfs jon

Even the bee in the beak of this Stonechat is so clearly recorded that you have almost been able to establish its ID, Ivan :-).
This is the zenith of perfection in my opinion.
The image is one in a million because it also puts the facts into right perspective; Stonechats are bee eaters too.
Thanks for sharing this super image.

Hello Ivan,
You have caught him red handed :) Beautiful capture of the bird and bee, technically perfect and most of all informative regarding the behaviour of the bird. As usual informative notes .
TFS, Regards

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-06-10 4:36]

Hi Ivan,
It's a very nice catch for both of you. Soft colors and lighting, pose you captured and the composition are very good. TFS

  • Great 
  • eng55 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1256 W: 42 N: 1976] (5892)
  • [2008-06-10 4:37]

Hi Ivan,
Excellent shot.POV,pose of bird,colors,BG,framing and composition are wonderful.
Thanks for posting.

Hi Ivan

Great shot of this handsome Spanish stonechat with his prey.
Great pose/POV
Excellent sharpness
Great composition


Hi Ivan, lovely eating bird, beautiful composition with splendid blurry BG, fine details and great sharpness, very well done, ciao Silvio

What an odd name StoneChat...I wonder how it got that one? I can plainly see by the crystal clear image that it is not a fly but a bee it has in it's beak. Very nice pose. I have yet to do any 'classic' poses such as this...Nature and I trust each other enough so it will come some day.

Hej Ivan
You did really good work here by capturing this stonechat with bee. I have never seen this before which make this shot special :)
Well done and TFS

Jńtte fin och unik bild

Hi Ivan, superb capture of this beautiful Stonechats eating bee. The posture on the tip of the branch is also excellent. Great shot my friend! TFS.


Hello Ivan
Firstly a great note that does show how much we can all learn from opening our eyes and studying our subjects..I find the more we know about our subjects the more improves our photography.
As for the picture..There really is little to say apart from congratulations and Thank you for sharing this immaculate double capture.
All the Best

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-06-10 11:04]

Hi Ivan,

Wonderful timing to capture this Stonechat with the bee in his beak. The bee is so clear!! Beautiful colors, details, background, composition.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-06-10 11:08]

Hello Ivan,
Don't have much time, very beautiful photo.

Splendido momento di cattura, eccellente POV, molto bella la composizione con l'uccellino che trionfa sul suo posatoio con la preda nel becco, ottima nitidezza e bello il riflesso dell'occhio, molto belli e contrastati i colori. Grazie e complimenti. Ciao Maurizio

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-06-10 12:17]

Hola Ivan, muy bonita fotografia, me gusta la composiciˇn . la luz y el detalle. El fondo uniforme, limpio y un perfecto desenfoque. Un saludo

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2008-06-10 12:40]

Hi Ivan,

Lovely shot of the Stonechat complete with its Bee lunch for its youngsters, its amazing that they can make them safe too.
Beautifully composed with a great POV and a fine pose.
Nice details with lovely light and exceelent colours.


In my very limited time I've saved my last comments to your expertly capture Ivan, will leave shortly again for Cesme, bless you for this beautiful image my friend!

  • Great 
  • Jamesp Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
  • [2008-06-10 13:57]

Hi Ivan

Excellent pose - well seen - excellent detail and I really like the lighting here.


Hi Ivan,

Very good portraite of this Stonechat with a mouthfull of insects. Good pose, POV and composition, sharp details and natural colours.



hello Ivan

excellent shot of this beautiful bird with the capture of a Bee in his beak,
fine POV, i love the vertical framing you gived, beautiful softness
of the colours and the composition, excellent sharpness and details, TFS


Hello Ivan,
Excellent composition on this beautiful Stonechats!
great pose with perfect exposure and focus and the lighting really beautiful!
many thanks for the sharing

  • Great 
  • Janice Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3277 W: 148 N: 6163] (18832)
  • [2008-06-11 3:17]

"Nature photography is a good way of learning more about nature."
Yes, you are right there Ivan. When I joined TN I thought I wouldn't be posting many photos here as I don't know any interesting natures thing to photograph!!!
We don't have this bird in NZ. I like seeing how it is holding the bee upside-down in his beak.
Good capture, the bird shows up clearly,

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-06-11 6:56]

Wow! Great capture, Ivan!
I never thought Stonechats would go after bees! Must be low on insect life there :-)
Very fine shot!
Excellent composition and parallel POV.
Superb pose too.
The lighting is great!
Very sharp.

Well done!


  • Great 
  • MMM Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1114 W: 0 N: 2546] (11425)
  • [2008-06-11 7:48]

Hi Ivan Nicee action capture.Good POV and sharp image.Plumage image is very good,I like your subject pose.I like that nice OOF BG.
TFS Michel

  • Great 
  • Mana Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1772 W: 36 N: 5597] (18598)
  • [2008-06-11 10:49]

Hi Ivan,
Outstanding shot of this cute Stonechat with a mouthful. Lovely colours and details on its plumage with perfect light and exposure levels. Nice pose captured here with precise DOF and a well chosen POV. Very nicely composed. Kudos.

I have miles to go and promises to keep, isn't that what someone said?
I quite forget who said it,but that's how I feel when I see your shots, my friend, for you have so much knowledge and finesse, that one feels very small and ignorant in front of you!
And that you continue to show that you're still a student of nature and are still learning, is very humbling!
A lovely shot with a lovely note!

Hello Ivan,
nice to see your great post after break of several days and nice to see another post from your Spanish trip. Great capture with sharp details, POV, colors and composition. It is great also with timing. Your title very nice and sutable for this beautiful capture. Notes always informative and nice. Thanks for sharing, best wishes

  • Great 
  • arfer Gold Star Critiquer [C: 2731 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-06-12 21:10]

Hello Ivan

Just marking the post for now


  • Great 
  • iris Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 479 W: 60 N: 970] (3088)
  • [2008-06-13 0:53]

Hi Ivan,
A new lesson to you and you teach us in turn the same..that is one fine thing about being part of this group....a wonderful capture of the Stone-chat and information that they feed on bees too..the details are fantastic, the shot is tack sharp, with excellent clarity, details and crop.The bee adds a lively character to the composition.The BG sets off the bird very well.

TFS & Cheers

bonjour ivan
si je ne me trompe pas en franšais il s'apelle le tarier pÔtre,c'est oiseau est vraiment bien presentÚ sur son perchoir et de plus il a une proie dans le bec.

Hi Ivan,
A fine capture of this beautiful stonechat along with its prey. Excellent details and a lovely composition. Thanks a lot for sharing.

Hola Ivan
Una captura muy buena la tuya y la que realizˇ la Tarabilla.
Un saludo

Hi Ivan

This is a great shot of the male Stonechat with good timing to get him eating a bee! I love the good detail of the fine orange/brown feathers on the chest. It makes the photo look very much alive. Well captured and composed.

The sharpness, clarity and POV are all perfectly done. Very well done indeed.

Thanks for the very descriptive note. I definitely learned something about nature today:)

Friendly Regards

Hello Ivan.

Excellent photography. The sharpness and depth of field are perfect. The colors and contrast are very realistic. The layout is perfect.
I particularly like the posture of the bird.

Very interesting to see the bird eating a bee. Wonderfull moment.

Thank you for sharing.

Hope to see you soon for other photos.


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