The European bee eater

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Merops apiaster Coraciiformes – Meropidae

They are back from their African winter quarters end of may in the South of France but mainly in Spain early in may. As Carrion crows, Black kites and some parrot species, they live as couples within a same colony and mate for life. It is awesome and inspiring to see how caring they are to one another but also very interesting.

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

As all birds and animals in general, they preen often as they are plagued with parasites:

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

European bee eater – Merops apiaster

European bee eater

They feed exclusively on insects. Even ‘stinking’ bugs are part of the diet!

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

Shortly after their arrival on their nesting sites, males make offerings to their mates: this is an incentive ritual to induce the pair into breeding conditions.


European bee eaterMerops apiaster

Once in a while, they regurgitate an elongated dark pellet: it is the undigested crushed keratin of the insects’ exoskeleton they swallow whole:

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

Both birds are involved in the process of digging a new hole if the old one is not available anymore. While one is busy…

European bee eater Merops apiaster

…the other encourages the partner:

European bee eater Merops apiaster

And then, mating occurs of course, a fantastic sight for the photographer:

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

The female stays a while longer, stretching and preening before flying off to feed:

European bee eaterMerops apiaster

Noushka Wildlife

Noushka

Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Wildlife issues. I live in the south of France at the present, but have lived in Africa for 16 years, in the U.S. for 3 years. With my husband, I created and managed a BIRD PARK in South Africa, raising mainly psittacines; the breeding facility housed over 1000 parrots at any given time. I speak French and English alike and manage decently in Spanish. My photography is about sharing fauna's beauty with other enthusiasts!Equipment: ALL NIKON Cameras: D500, D750 Tele lenses: 300 mm, 500 mm, 800 mm f5/6E, Zoom lenses: 16/80 mm, 80/400 mm, 200/500 mm and: Macro 150 Sigma.* * * My work can be seen HERE:http://1000-pattes.blogspot.fr/* * * NOT ON FACEBOOK

Noushka Wildlife

Noushka Wildlife

Passionate about Wildlife, Photography and Wildlife issues. I live in the south of France at the present, but have lived in Africa for 16 years, in the U.S. for 3 years. With my husband, I created and managed a BIRD PARK in South Africa, raising mainly psittacines; the breeding facility housed over 1000 parrots at any given time. I speak French and English alike and manage decently in Spanish. My photography is about sharing fauna's beauty with other enthusiasts!Equipment: ALL NIKON Cameras: D500, D750 Tele lenses: 300 mm, 500 mm, 800 mm f5/6E, Zoom lenses: 16/80 mm, 80/400 mm, 200/500 mm and: Macro 150 Sigma.* * * My work can be seen HERE:http://1000-pattes.blogspot.fr/* * * NOT ON FACEBOOK

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