European Bee-eaters at Lesbos, Greece

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From 1 till 12 June I’ve spent a short vacation on the island of Lesbos, Greece. Best time to visit Lesbos is actually the first weeks of May, as many migrating birds can be observed during that period. But this was a vacation and not a birding trip. I’m sure I will go back again to watch spring migration at this beautiful island.

One of the resident species is the European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) Wonderful birds to observe their behaviour and their hunting skills. Despite their name, they are not eating only bees. I’ve seen them catching and eating bees, butterflies and beetles. They are able to spot a bee, or other insects, about 60 meters away. The nests are burrows dug into the ground or in earth cliffs. On Lesbos most nests I’ve seen directly into level ground. I was very happy to have the opportunity to photograph these colorful birds.

Flying with a Bee as Prey

Bee-eater with butterfly

Bee-eater catched a beetle

Nest of a Bee-eater couple

Rob Belterman

Rob Belterman

Rob Belterman has been working in Rotterdam Zoo since 1978, and is based in the Netherlands. His project activity encompasses the genetics (chromosomes) of birds and mammals, sexing European White Storks for re-introduction in the Netherlands, Bearded Vultures in Austria, and Cinereous Vultures in Mallorca. He coordinates two European Endangered Species Programmes for Red-crowned Cranes and Siberian Cranes. Rob is an enthousiastic bird photographer and always takes his camera with him when travelling.

Rob Belterman

Rob Belterman

Rob Belterman has been working in Rotterdam Zoo since 1978, and is based in the Netherlands. His project activity encompasses the genetics (chromosomes) of birds and mammals, sexing European White Storks for re-introduction in the Netherlands, Bearded Vultures in Austria, and Cinereous Vultures in Mallorca. He coordinates two European Endangered Species Programmes for Red-crowned Cranes and Siberian Cranes. Rob is an enthousiastic bird photographer and always takes his camera with him when travelling.

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Papillons de France
Papillons de France

Hello Rob,

We are completing a big book on the life of butterflies (in French) and we are looking for a picture of a bird with a butterfly. We have just found your beautiful photo taken in Lesvos (the butterfly is a Red Admiral, Vanessa atlanta). Would it be possible to get it to publish it on a double-page dedicated to the natural enemies of butterflies (at half-page size) ?
Congratulations and best wishes

Tatiana & Tristan Lafranchis Site web: http://diatheo.weebly.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AssociationDiatheo

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Wow! I really like its colorful feathers. Thanks for sharing this page.