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European Bee-eater


European Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: Angelo Nardo (nardophoto) (9824)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-05-19
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 30d, Canon EF 400mm f/5.6L USM, Digital ISO 400
Exposure: f/8, 1/2000 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-05-19 23:07
Viewed: 2733
Points: 4
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
European Bee-eater
Merops apiaster
I: Gruccione

The bee-eaters are a group of near passerine birds in the family Meropidae. Most species are found in Africa but others occur in southern Europe, Madagascar, Australia and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies and usually elongated central tail feathers. All are colorful and have long downturned bills and pointed wings, which give them a swallow-like appearance when seen from afar.

Just as the expressive name reveals, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps, and other flying insects, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While they will pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet.

The European Bee-eater, Merops apiaster is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa (or to North-Western India, southern India and Sri Lanka in the case of Asian birds). 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 is a bird which breeds in open country in warmer climates. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before eating its meal, a European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily.

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 the 5 to 8, spherical white eggs are laid around the beginning of June. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs, which are brooded for about 3 weeks. These birds also feed and roost communally.

The call is a pleasant distinctive trill.
(source:wikipedia)

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Critiques [Translate]

Ciao Angelo,
la tua puntata a S. Giuliano anche solo per questa splendida cattura in volo ha avuto pieno successo, ma so con certezza che hai fatto altri scatti meravigliosi
Complimenti
Ciao Maurizio

bellissimo scatto al volo !

complimenti !

ciao, e buona giornata,

tino

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