European Bee-eaters at Lesbos, Greece



From 1 till 12 June I’ve spent a short vacation on the island of , . 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 (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. Retired since 2014. 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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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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