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Southern Carmine Bee-eater

Southern Carmine Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2012-03-23
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC HX1, Sony G lens 20x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 125
Exposure: f/5.2, 1/800 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2012-04-15 10:23
Viewed: 4356
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 78
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Southern Carmine Bee-eater / Merops nubicoides

The Southern Carmine Bee-eater is number 53 in the series of the Birds of the Kruger which I am sharing at present. This is another bird I had on my wish list and was pleased when we came across some of them on the 1st day of a short visit to the park at the end of March.

I remember how I envied both Robin Du Bois (robindb) and Natley Prinsloo (mamagolo2) when they posted images of this bird. Now I can recall my envy of years ago as I can show off with my own photograph of this gorgeous bird.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, striking bird, predominantly carmine in colouration, but with the crown and under tail coverts blue.

An unforgettable sight is that of a Southern Carmine Bee-eater riding on the back of a Kori Bustard as it strides out across the open grassveld in order to catch insects disturbed by the bustard. No sooner does a bustard leave the shade of a bush than Southern Carmine Bee-eater lands on its back, staying there until the bustard takes to the cool shade again. This extends the bee-eaters foraging range beyond the rather scattered bushes and trees from which they usually hawk their flying prey. In other parts of Africa they can be seen on the backs of ostriches, storks, herons, cranes and ibises.

You can also see them perched on fence posts and low, leafless shrubs, waiting for an insect to fly past. As it does so, the bee-eater will launch from its perch, snap the insect in the air and return to the perch to beat it before swallowing. This species also hunts while cruising on the wing and may soar high in the thermals like a small falcon. Like many aerial predators, they are attracted to grass fires and to herds of large game mammals to catch the insects they disturb.

The sheer beauty of this species makes it very popular with visitors to the Kruger National Park in the second half of summer. Colonies, sometimes in flocks of hundreds of birds, excavate nesting tunnels in vertical river banks. Here the female lays a clutch of 2-5 eggs in a chamber at the end of a straight tunnel about 2 metres long. The nestlings take about 30 days to reach flying age.

Taken from: Animals of the Kruger Park and Lowveld - Heritage Publishing.

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Marco2010, Jakkals, cobra112, corjan3, josediogo1958, Mamagolo2, jusninasirun, marius-secan, soccer, pegos, shabsslg, Pitoncle, CeltickRanger, PaulLees, Alex99, KOMSIS, jcoowanitwong, bartove, pierrefonds, mlines has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Anna,
great capture of this Bee-eater with good sharpness and a well chosen POV. I especially like the fantastic colours and the lovely pose with the open beak.
Best wishes,

Ciao Anna.
Splendida cattura di questo gruccione,sembra che sia in posa per farsi fotografare,ottimi colori molto vivaci che risaltano sul cielo azzurro,eccellente nitidezza come la composizione ben curata,complimenti.
Ciao Marco.

wonderful bird, excellent picture Anna, congratulations !

very nice colors and good details, lovely composition too,

have a good time,

ciao, tino

  • Great 
  • pirate Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 799 W: 152 N: 1186] (7474)
  • [2012-04-15 10:55]

Hi Anna
most beautiful colors, great sharpness and above all perfect compo

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2012-04-15 11:15]

The blue sky in background is perfect to contrast the red plumaege of this beautiful specie,a magnificent choice of point of view for a perfect result,spectacular details,colors and light management.Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2012-04-15 11:19]

Hello Anna.
Lovely capture of this Southern Carmine Bee-eater! Great focus on the eye and sharp details of the beautiful plumage. Lovely colours too.Best regards Siggi

Hi Anna,
You beat me to this one!! I have seen them but never close enough. Truly a great capture with splendid detail and colours. Lovely pose, light, placing, blink in the eye, POV and the beautiful blue South African sky as your BG. Excellent composition my friend.
Best regards to you and Loot,
I Will be absent for a while with our annual shutdowns looming in the feature. Luckily our week to Ngwenya Lodge is booked.

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely bird in nice pose on a beautiful blue sky, fine details, splendid sharpness and wonderful colors, very well done, my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2012-04-15 11:50]

Hello Anna,
A photo in splendid bright colours and excellent sharpness. Fantastic details like the tongue. Great pose and composition. Very beautiful blue sky in the background.

hello Anne
thanks for the nice comment from you on my picture
and you have here also a Beauty
great details and super good light
the colours are beautiful
great shot
thanks greeting lou

Ciao Anna. Excitin light to exalt the colours of the intersting bird. Excellent details and sharp against the blue BG. TFS.


Hell;o Anna,
Yes, no more envy I am sure. Unfortunately I did not see theirs but this is just fabulous....Colours, composition, quality....everything. What did you say, when will your first volume on Birds of the Kruger be published? Very well done indeed. A real pleasure to view.

Boa noite Anna!
Amazing capture You did..
Perfect pose,POV and composition,wonderful colors and lighting and excellent sharp details.Congrats!
Have a good week and thank You,
Kind regards

Hi Anna,
What a stunning picture... The red and the blue sky, the pose
Well done my friend!
Kind regards
Jy ken jou storie!

Hello Anna my friend,
Luckily you've also had the opportunity to get a shot at this beautiful Carmine Bee-Eater and I have to tell you that your photo is far better than mine. You've managed to capture this one with excellent detail and sharpness with even the catch light in the eye. Stunning colours! Well done my friend and tfs.

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2012-04-15 19:47]

Hello Anna,
this is lovely shot of the bee-eater. The slight glance give a pleasant pose and the pinkish feathers on the blue background is such a lively presentation.
The details are well maintained in an attractive composition.


Hello Anna.
Bee-eater is a wonderful bird and I always like to have them captured for the record. Your version has different colors of the plume with vibrant chest and bluish head. Nice details against the spotless blue sky.
Thanks and have a wonderful week ahead.

Hello Anna,
Remarkable photo with exceptional clarity and focus. Outstanding composition, sharpness and fantastic details.
The contrast against the blue sky is superb. Perfect WB and exposure.
I love this excellent composition with brilliant colors. I am waiting for the yellow-green Bee Eater migrating from south in my country....

  • Great 
  • soccer Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 587 W: 0 N: 655] (2557)
  • [2012-04-15 23:37]


Well composed pic of the subject. I like the catch light in the eye and the sharpness and detail of the bird. The POV and colours against the clear BG are excellent.

  • Great 
  • pegos Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 222 W: 0 N: 356] (1982)
  • [2012-04-16 3:06]

Beautiful capture, Anna!!
Sharp image with splendid colours and excellent lightness; great POV and perfect pose of the bird; very nice contrast with a blue sky. Very well done!

Hello Anna,

An exceptionally true to life colours and almost commensurate details or thereabouts. Nice bird too.


Bonjour Anna,
C'est splendide, depuis l'attitude du sujet jusqu'à la finesse des détails sans oublier la belle lumière magnifiant d'éclatantes couleurs.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Hello Anna

This is a great close-up photo of this species
of Bee-eater, fine POV & appropriate framing,
beautiful light, great focus sharpness details
and contrast, TFS


  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2012-04-18 12:30]

Hello Anna,

How nice this lovely creature pose just so nicely for you, with its long and elegant form, the feather so beautiful like a lady evening gown. The sparkle in its eyes is just gives it a liveliness feeling, like I can just reach in and pet it.

Perfect crop for a well balanced compostion. Great light, natural color and good quality photo.

Thanks and have a great day.

Hello Anna,
Sorry I was missed this beautiful picture. your choosing of this beautiful BG makes this picture great. great sharpness, colour and the composition is superb.
with best wishes.

Amazing bird and impressive photo Anna! Very good composition, fantastic colours and great sharpness!

Hi Anna, Fabulous capture of this amazing Southern Carmine Bee-eater my good friend, lovely mid afternoon light with good natural colour tones, nice and sharp with splendid clarity, superb POV and pose, great stuff here Anna and very well done,
Best Regards,


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2012-04-19 10:59]

Fantastic shot, Anna.
This species is so different from ours but both are amazing. Terrific quality of the image. I always am impressed with your skill and use of your camera. Bravo. And many thanks for words of encouragement.
Yours Alexei.

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2012-04-19 13:50]

Hello Anna!
Wow!!! What an outstanding capture!!!Great details and wonderful lighting!Amazing sharpness and natural colors.So,so well done,my dear Anna! A truly beauty!!!Thanks for sharing it with us!The little detail in the final tail of the bird made ​​me smile...So cute!!!
Best wishes and many thanks for visiting my gallery!
As always your kind words make me very proud of myself.
Big hug from,

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2012-04-20 2:42]

Hallo Anna,
Excellent capture ..
Focus and selection of depth of field is professional. Very sharp details and superb pose, wonderful colors too.
Best wishes,

Hello Anna,
This is a brilliant picture. Sharp focus with fine details to appreciate. Perfect colors and light balance. Well seen against blue sky. TFS,

Wonderful bird wonderful colors
Best wishes,

Preciosas tonalidades en un bonito marco. Sacándole como siempre sabes hacer tú un gran partidos a esa
Sony. Aquí solamente tenemos a Merops apìastes :-(
Un abrazo Anna: Josep Ignasi.

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2012-06-05 12:32]

Wow, Anna! It is just so beautiful!
The light is amazing, and makes the bird look like it is on fire.
Gorgeous colors and details.
Also like the perfect profile.
TFS. : )

Hallo Anna,

Fantastiese skoot, en 'n baie mooi outjie of vroutjie. Baie goeie diepte van veld, mooi pose, all-in-all regtig goeie werk. Baie geluk.


  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2012-08-05 19:23]

Hello Anna, How did I miss this one?
I have seen many Bee-eaters here on TN over the years. They are definitely one of my favorite birds because of they awesome colors. I must admit I have never seen one this color before. Thr red breast and blue cap are simply gorgeous and a real eyecatcher.
I can't imagine seeing hundreds of these little beauties all at the same time nesting along the river. Thank you for sharing this wonderful photo.

Hi Anna,

The branches are helping to frame the bird. The point of view is showing the details and colors of the Southern Carmine Bee-eater. The afternoon light is bringing out the beauty of the colors. Have a nice day.


  • Great 
  • mlines Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 556 W: 26 N: 668] (3116)
  • [2012-09-10 15:27]

Hi Anna, A beautiful clear shot with the bird profile ideal. The blue sky is a perfect backdrop to make the colourful bird stand out. TFS. Murray

Anna, what a great shot of this bee-eater. Wonderful detail and sharpness.

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