<< Previous Next >>

Little Bee-eater

Little Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: James Parker (Jamesp) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1369 W: 9 N: 6334] (18906)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-03-26
Categories: Birds
Camera: Canon EOS 1Ds MkII, Canon 400mm 2.8 IS
Exposure: f/5.0, 1/400 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): CeltickRanger's favorite Bird photos -3- [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2008-12-15 8:31
Viewed: 4995
Points: 56
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
I took this shot of a Little Bee-eater on my trip to South Africa at easter. I used my 400mm 2.8 with a X2 converter.

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.

siggi, eqshannon, PaulH, Adanac, nglen, jaycee, billynewboy, boreocypriensis, Alex99, Dis. Ac., CeltickRanger, maurydv, Argus, rousettus, uleko, SunToucher has marked this note useful
Only registered TrekNature members may rate photo notes.
Add Critique [Critiquing Guidelines] 
Only registered TrekNature members may write critiques.
You must be logged in to start a discussion.

Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2008-12-15 9:27]

Hello James,
A lovely capture of this beautiful bee eater. Superb details and a lovely composition. Thanks for sharing.Best regards

Hello James
This is a fine view of the Little Bee Eater..The 400mm combined with a 2x convertor has worked so well in neutralising the Background...The bee eater is very detailed...but I feel it loses a touch of definition...this could be down to a small upload file size which isnt truly displaying the sharpness and definition from your set up.
A great Picture and a great note.
All the Best

  • Great 
  • PaulH Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1137 W: 26 N: 3879] (13882)
  • [2008-12-15 10:27]

As always very well framed James, your DOF has isolated this Bee Eater perfectly from the soft neutral background, great work mate.

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2008-12-15 10:34]

Hello James,
Bee-eaters is one of the species I would so love to see in person. They are so colorful and you image displays this very nicely in a superb composition. The lense set up you used here is one I have been thinking of purchasing do you like it and is it quite heavy? Thanks for yje fine imge and notes James.

  • Great 
  • nglen Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2883 W: 30 N: 9683] (36145)
  • [2008-12-15 10:40]

Hi James. We dont see to many small birds from you so this is nice to see. You have taken this with a nice POC with its head just turned back. Good detail and bright colours in the green feathers.. I fine the BG a little distracting.But still a good pictute with intersting notes. well done TFS.

  • Great 
  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2008-12-15 10:52]

Hi James,

It's not often that we see a bird post from you so it figures it would be a special one like this Little Bee-eater. Wonderful pose on the branch. The colors are beautiful with that lovely shade of green, orange and yellow. Excellent details of the wings and tail feathers. I love the unusual background and the composition.


Hi Brother James,
A lovely capture of this little bee-eater from S Africa in a fine composition with great colours, details, nice DOF/POV. i also like the autumnal color of BG too.
TFS and cheers,

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2008-12-15 11:30]

Hi James.
I love this species a lot. Very nice birds and you managed to show all its beauty. Crisp sharp image of the bird, feathers are reflected perfectly. We can see every feather separately. BG is very attractive and looks naturally. Kind regards and best wishes.

  • Great 
  • zulfu Gold Star Critiquer [C: 685 W: 0 N: 2] (43)
  • [2008-12-15 11:59]

Hello James, great shot of this beautiful bee-eater.
TFS and G's,

Hi James,

nice coloured bird and and picture with good dof and bg.


Hi James,
Excellent use of the 400 + teleconverter.
The quality of the image is so good, as well as the sharpness of the bird.
I like a lot the blurred background and the diffuse lines that it forms.
Great work and thanks for share.
My best regards,

Hi James,
Very nice capture of this cute Little Bee-eater; great POV and composition, sharp details and bright natural colours.

Hello James,
Good capture and special BG, beautiful species bee eater.
Regards. TFS.

hello James

superb image of the Little Bee-eater, with very fine POV and framing,
beautiful luminosity of the image, excellent density of the colours,
excellent sharpness and details of the plumage,
you should do more bird photos James, or if you have
on your archives you should post them more ofted,
i love this image, TFS


Hello James

The OOF BG has a lovely bokeh and really makes a fantastic backdrop for this colourful bird.
Excellent sharpness and detail.
The plumage detail shows well.
It almost has a 3D quality to it.
Great job.


  • Great 
  • gondox Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 356 W: 65 N: 342] (1585)
  • [2008-12-15 23:40]

Hi James,

this might not be your usual subject but you made something very nice out of it too! The superb bg adds just as much as the pin sharp bee-eater. TFS!

Best regards,

hello james,
fine capture of the bee eater, its a beautiful bird, i have tried to capture it but couldnt manage with shot worth posting, liked the bg, the composition and the colours,
well done,
tfs & regards

Ciao James,
bellissima immagine di Gruccione, catturato con ottima definizione in una splendida composizione con la bellissima posa sul rametto che taglia diagonalmente, mi piace moltissimo anche il BG con la meravigliosa sfocatura dei rami in secondo piano, magnifici i colori.

  • Great 
  • Rosa Gold Star Critiquer [C: 56 W: 0 N: 0] (0)
  • [2008-12-16 1:16]

Hello James,
what a stunning green,
beautifully captured.
Have a great day

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2008-12-16 4:37]

Hello James,
Nice dorsal view of a Little Bee Eater with its head turned to show the salient features with excellent sharpness. Great lighting, composition and contrastin OOF natural BG.
I have an old slide of this species taken in Gambia,
Kind regards,

  • Great 
  • gannu Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 988 W: 4 N: 3277] (14761)
  • [2008-12-16 4:58]

Hello James, Nice fella and you have caught him nice in your camera. Sharp picture Ganesh

Hi James
Great composition, I like the BG's design!
Well done

Hi James
I missed some of your last posts since I was in my homeland. Now I can visit them. This is one of them and very nice shot for very beautiful model. Nicely focused and composed. POV and eyes contact also very nice. Thanks for sharing, best wishes

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2008-12-17 2:43]

Hello James,
A lovely capture of the Little Bee-eater in a typical pose on a wire! Great focus and beautiful colours and details.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

  • Great 
  • joey Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1739 W: 224 N: 6872] (24909)
  • [2008-12-17 14:35]

Hi James,
what a great shot of this Little Green Bee-eater.
Very good detail in the feathers.
Lovely colours.
Well composed too.

Excellent work!


Hi James,
I like the composition with the bea-eater sitting on that free twig against the warm tall grass.
It does look like the 2x converter did cause you to lose some of the details in the bird or its some artifacts from the sharpening. Besides that the overall photo is a pleasure to look at.

Hello James,
really lovely capture of this little Bee-Eater, beautiful colors, the green and yellow is lovely and I love the red eye, excellent composition and pov, very good sharpness and depth of field, superb details and lovely oof background.

  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2009-01-07 12:03]

Hello James! Perfectly composed image and technically very good, a treat to the eyes! Thanks, have a great new year full of travels and great shots!


Calibration Check