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Merops apiaster

Merops apiaster
Photo Information
Copyright: Filipe Caetano (Filipe_Caetano) Silver Note Writer [C: 5 W: 0 N: 79] (368)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-10
Categories: Insects, Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM + 1.4X
Exposure: f/9.0, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-11-01 12:04
Viewed: 4816
Points: 24
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
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. It has been classically described as afraid of man, thus tending to avoid him, but recent observations record that it is often seen apparently playing with cars, sometimes following them. After rain, indeed, it may be found closer to human settlements, looking for beehives. The bee-eater is obviously resented by bee keepers, but is reputed an important component in balancing local bio-systems.

nglen, JoseMiguel, Pentaxfriend, Evelynn, Alex99, Merlin, phlr has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-11-01 12:44]

Hi Filipe. Your Sigma lens has turned out a very clear well focused picture with fine detail. very bright colours. A nice pose of the Bee Eater with a fly , with good catch light in the eye. well done tFs.

Hi Filipe,

Excellent shot of this beautiful Bee eater
Superb compo, colors, BG and POV
Perfect sharp details

TFS Thijs

Hi Felipe,
Amazing capture of this Bee-eater.
I like the well balanced composition and the framing chosen.
Excellent details all over, as well as colours rendered.
Congratulations and thanks for share.
Best regards,

Awesome photograph, Filipe.
Congrats on this one.
Everything is superb apparently: perfect model as it is a photogenic Bee-eater, decisive moment through the prey,
very sharp overall (even the dragonfly), extraordinary perched, etc.

I think this is just wonderful Felipe. The sharpness of the subject and branch against that lovely background is stunning. The insect adds a lot of impact to the image. I love the simple composition.

Evelynn : )

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-11-01 23:33]

Hi Filipe.
One of the best shot of the lovely for me and very beautiful bird. The dragonfly in its beak is reproduced so skillfully as all bird. Pictured scene at whole is amazing as well as sharpness and details of the image and fine rich colours. Bravo.

Filipe: this is just a beautiful document of this elegant bird. Perfect focus, excellent lighting and a complementary backround - all come together in a great photograph. Even the perch and the ascalaphid prey are interesting! Natural colours appreciated also.
Regards, Nigel.

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-11-02 6:03]

Merhaba Filipe,
Bu çok güzel poz veren arıkuşunun size verdiği bu fırsatı çok iyi kullanmışsınız. Renkler, kompozisyon ve detaylar çok hoş. Elinize sağlık.


  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2008-11-02 6:13]

Hello Filipe,
Great photo in beautiful soft colours and excellent sharpness.
Fantastic composition, POV and BG.

Hi Felipe

Stunning shot of this beautiful bee-eater
The pose is fantastic, excellent composition
Excellent sharpness and plumage details
Great OOF background

Great shot

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2008-11-02 23:08]

Wow, Filipe...
The details could not be sharper.
The colors are just glorious.
The moment is perfect, with the bee in the beak.
Great eye contact and great composition.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • iti Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 577 W: 0 N: 650] (7939)
  • [2008-11-05 12:01]

Hi Filipe
Excellent moment.Beautiful photo of this nice bird.Nice colours very good composition and sharpness details.
Regards Jiri.

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