Swallow-tailed bee-eater


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The swallow-tailed bee-eater (Merops hirundineus, haaramehiläissyöjä in Finnish) is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in savannah woodlands of sub-Saharan Africa. It is partially migratory, moving in response to rainfall patterns.

This species, like other bee-eaters, is a richly coloured, slender bird. Its colours and readily visible forked tail make this species unmistakable. It is mainly green with a yellow throat, blue gorget and black eye stripe and beak. It can reach a length of 20–22 cm, including the long forked green or blue feathers. Sexes are alike.

This is a species which prefers somewhat more wooded country than most bee-eaters. This attractive bird is readily approached. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees, wasps and hornets, which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Swallowtail has a preference for honeybees. [Source: Wikipedia]

These pictures were taken in Kalahari, South Africa. Note: the first picture is a combination of four images.

o – o – o

I will post every week “Thursday Twitters”, pictures of birds mainly from
Finland and Southern Africa, occasionally also taken elsewhere.
The source of the text is most likely Wikipedia or similar online article.

About Olli Laasanen

Eyes and ears open. New and old. Jobs and hobbies. Pictures and music. Entertaining and serious. Change and stability. Nature and urban.
This entry was posted in Animals, Nature, Photo, photography, South Africa, Travel, Valokuvaus and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Swallow-tailed bee-eater

  1. Rigby says:

    What a beautiful bird! And that top photo is almost too good to be true. I copied it and flipped it horizontally [because we ‘read’ from left to right] and it seems as if it is the same bird perching, readying for take-off, then flying away. It’s now my desktop photo. Thanks.

    • 😀 It is one and same bird (as mentioned in the text). Thanks to speedy cameras, we are able to take many consecutive shots in a fraction of a second. I then combined and aligned these four shots in Photoshop. – I was also considering to flip the final image, for the same reason as you, but decided to keep that amount of originality. 😉 Thanks!

      • Rigby says:

        Ah, I hadn’t realised the four images were of the same bird. Thanks for the clarification. I meant to add that the beautifully textured branch they’re on and the unfocused background are the perfect backdrop.

  2. Such pretty birds and your images are wonderful.

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