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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: 2009-05-06
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D70, NIKKOR 200-400mm 1:4G AF-S VR
Exposure: f/8, 1/400 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2009-05-09 3:12
Viewed: 5351
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 26
[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.

zetu, horias, Alex99, Pentaxfriend, nglen, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Zeno Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
  • [2009-05-09 3:28]

Hi Filipe,

This is a great shot. Everything is perfect: composition, light and sharpness.
I saw many bee-eaters on Lesvos.


  • Great 
  • zetu Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 967 W: 26 N: 3888] (16941)
  • [2009-05-09 3:56]

Hello Felipe
Wonderful capture of a beautiful bird. Excellent details and perfect BG.

Grande qualité de l'image! Bravo pour la netteté!

Où as-tu trouvé cet oiseau? Dans la nature?

Bonne journée


  • Great 
  • horias Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 837 W: 58 N: 2084] (11033)
  • [2009-05-09 4:53]

What a great capture....how spectacular is the wing...and the color is so natural...congratulation!

  • eliz Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 167 W: 20 N: 271] (1537)
  • [2009-05-09 6:01]

but you should live more space to the subject

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2009-05-09 6:26]

Hi Filipe.
Quality of the shot is spot on. Your skill with terrific lens make wonders. Timing is superb, reproduction of colours and feathers of the bird as well as other details of the bird are unbelievable. Bravo. Excellent work. My kind regards.

hi Felipe
fantastic pose and moment,perfect shot

  • Great 
  • Metin Silver Star Critiquer [C: 25 W: 0 N: 16] (176)
  • [2009-05-09 7:44]

Hi Filipe
a very succesful capture good colors and details.. TFS

amazing capture, TFS Ori

  • Great 
  • rulle (16)
  • [2009-05-09 9:18]

Hello Filipe,
the colours are natural and very nice.
Details and exposure are very good but I find the composition a bit tight.

Hi Filipe,

This is a PERFECT colorful capture of this Bee-eater
Beautiful pose
Perfect sharp details
Excellent POV, DOF, BG and Light

TFS Thijs

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2009-05-09 12:41]

Hi Filipe . This is a beautiful looking bird and you have taken a fine close up showing its beauty so well . With sharp focusing and fine detail. The colours are so bright. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2009-05-09 13:25]

Hello Filipe,
Fantastic clear coloured photo of this Bee-eater in a wonderful pose. Excellent sharpness and composition. Very beautiful OOF BG.

Hi Filipe, a wonderful capture of this beautyalmost in-flight from nice POV with excellent composition, neat details and sharpness.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • Zero (26)
  • [2009-07-05 21:41]

What a beautiful shot. This should make all those 24 megapixel people realize glass is where its at. Oh ya and the person pushing the button helps.
Ed T

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