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Little Bee-eater

Little Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: Mike Rolfe (fiftysomething) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 45 W: 3 N: 141] (657)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-01
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon 30D, Canon EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM, 77mm UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
Theme(s): Superb Birds, Birds of South Africa 3 [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-01-25 0:49
Viewed: 4048
Points: 17
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Little Bee-eater, Merops pusillus is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It is resident in much of sub-Saharan Africa. It should not be confused with the Little Green Bee-eater, Merops orientalis. Migration is limited to seasonal movements depending on rainfall patterns.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. It has green upper parts, yellow throat, black gorget, and rich brown upper breast fading to buffish ocre on the belly. The wings are green and brown, and the beak is black. It reaches a length of 15-17 cm, which makes it the smallest African bee-eater. Sexes are alike. Often silent, their call is a soft "seep".

This is an abundant and tame bird, familiar throughout its range. There have been estimated to be between 60-80 million Little Bee-eaters.

This is a bird which breeds in open country with bushes, preferably near water. 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. This species often hunts from low perches, maybe only a metre or less high. Before eating its meal, a bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface.

Unlike most bee-eaters, these are solitary nesters, making a tunnel in sandy banks, or sometimes in the entrance to an Aardvark den. They lay 4 to 6 spherical white eggs. Both the male and the female take care of the eggs. These birds roost communally, lined up on a tree branch.

pvs, jusninasirun, SelenE, rkailas, kjpweb, loot has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To Callie: Little Bee-eaterfiftysomething 1 03-06 23:38
To K9madtex: Little Bee-eaterfiftysomething 1 01-28 00:24
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • pvs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1127 W: 254 N: 3161] (14464)
  • [2008-01-25 1:18]

Hi Mike,

I Think this was a nice start of the year for you,a very detailed and sharp capture of this bee eater eating what he supposed to eat,nice natural colors,tfs


Hello Mike,

Very well written notes and this is a really fine capture. The perch is good leaning forward with all the details and plumage very well written all over the picture. Even the insect in the mouth is in crispy details. Excellent management of light and depth keeping away the busyness of the surroundings. I like it and I hope you won't mind me adding this to my theme.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • SelenE Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2249 W: 65 N: 4205] (13972)
  • [2008-01-25 1:28]

Hi Mike,
Very good photo of this little bee-eater. I liked the light, focus, sharpness, and the pose you captured a lot. TFS
Best wishes,

Hi Mike

Brilliant colours and DOF in this one. Nice catchlight in the eye. Must have been difficult to capture what are usually very 'flittish' birds.


Great capture in good light. Plenty of detail. While a little noisy it doesn't distract from an otherwise very good picture! Bravo! Cheers, Klaus

  • Good 
  • crs Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 469 W: 0 N: 922] (3551)
  • [2008-01-25 6:03]

Hi Mike,

Very interesting photo. First I appreciate you have been able to catch the image of the bird with it's pray. Natural colors, good lighting and clear image gives the feeling you might be able to toutch the bird.

Best regards,

  • Great 
  • loot Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5524 W: 722 N: 4163] (11276)
  • [2008-01-25 8:24]
  • [2]

Hi Mike

What a priceless capture. This little bee-eater is showing us exactly where it got its name from. A bee in the beak and seemingly very proud of it.

Lovely colours, great details, and amazing exposure make this a feast for the eyes. The slightly darker BG compliments the bird and makes it stand out in the frame. I just love it...

Lovely work and TFS.

A little bee-eater eating a little bee. Well I guess it can't be any plainer than that can it? beautiful shot of the bird, with wonderful colors and focus. I would have touched up the noise in the BG in PP but the bird is so nice I didn't really notice until I really started looking. I did a WS but I have reached my upload limit today. Look for it tomorrow.

Hi Mike

Great image of this beautiful bee-eater
Really well composed with great sharpness and even a bee in its bill


Mike A fine shot, great catch, both of you. Where did you shoot this? A question - LBE has a black throat band, missing here. This looks like a Juvie Swallow-tailed BE. There also seems to be no lack in the primaries. Not meant as a critique, just a query from a wildlife enthusiast. Callie

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