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European Bee-eater


European Bee-eater
Photo Information
Copyright: Peter van Zoest (PeterZ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5136 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2018-05-10
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D90, Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, Digital RAW
Exposure: f/7.1, 1/3000 seconds
Details: Tripod: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2019-06-16 11:12
Viewed: 102
Points: 12
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meopidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe.

Description
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.

Food
This bird breeds in open country in warmer climates. As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps, and hornets. They catch insects in flight, in sorties from an open perch. Before eating a bee, the European Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It can eat around 250 bees a day.
The most important prey item in their diet is Hymenoptera, mostly Apis mellifera. A study in Spain found that these comprise 69.4% to 82% of the European Bee-eaters' diet. Their impact on bee populations, however, is small. They eat less than 1% of the worker bees in areas where they live.
A study found that European Bee-eaters "convert food to body weight more efficiently if they are fed a mixture of bees and dragonflies than if they eat only bees or only dragonflies.

Behavior
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 they lay five to eight spherical white eggs around the beginning of June. Both male and female care for the eggs, which they brood for about three weeks. They also feed and roost communally.
During courtship, the male feeds large items to the female while eating the small ones himself. Most males are monogamous, but occasional bigamy has been encountered. Their typical call is a distinctive, mellow, liquid and burry prreee or prruup.

Source: Wikipedia

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Critiques [Translate]

Hello Peter,
Beautiful Bee-Eater. Excellent background and sharpness. I like background light here. Well presentation.
Thanks for sharing,
Regards and have a nice weekend,
Srikumar

Hi Peter,
Excellent shot, as high quality one as Marius' photos about the same bird. Absolute perfect composition, good sharpness, and the background color is the most possibly suitable to the bird's vibrant ones on the plumage at all. Lovely light management and white balance. The photo of the day for me.
Kind regards from Ireland, László

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6475 W: 89 N: 15608] (65295)
  • [2019-06-17 1:30]

Hi Peter,a common species but very difficult to take so close,i never had a great opportunity as you. Great capture with the best details and bright colors too. Have a nice week and thanks,Luciano

Hello Peter,
Nice Bee-Eater and Nice image.
Biswarup

Hello Peter,
Nice specie indeed. Lovely natural colors. They arrived also in the region I live. I have seen them preparing their nest in the ground (sandy soil near Timis river)
Marius.

Beautifull capture and sharpness.

TFS
deffra

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