11 June 2016

Bee-eater (Meropidae // Prigorie)

Bee-eater (Meropidae // Prigorie)
Bee-eater // Meropidae // Prigorie

Equipment Used:

- Canon EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS II USM
- Canon Extender EF 1.4X III
- Canon 7D Mark II

The bee-eaters are a group of near-passerine birds in the family Meropidae containing three genera and 27 species. Most species are found in Africa and Asia, with a few in southern Europe, Australia, and New Guinea. They are characterised by richly coloured plumage, slender bodies, and usually elongated central tail feathers. All have long down-turned bills and medium to long wings, which may be pointed or round. Male and female plumages are usually similar.

As their name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by flights from an open perch. The stinger is removed by repeatedly hitting and rubbing the insect on a hard surface. During this process, pressure is applied to the insect thereby extracting most of the venom.

Most bee-eaters are gregarious. They form colonies, nesting in burrows tunnelled into vertical sandy banks, often at the side of a river, or in flat ground. As they mostly live in colonies, large numbers of nest holes may be seen together. The eggs are white, with typically five to the clutch. Most species are monogamous, and both parents care for the young, sometimes with assistance from related birds in the colony. More...
Location: Fundulea, Romania

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