Whitefronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides)

Maree Clarkson

Tarlton, South Africa

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Artist's Description

W & N watercolours on Visual 200gsm
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“Be as a bird perched on a frail branch that she feels bending beneath her, still she sings away all the same, knowing she has wings.”
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See my SATURDAY CHAT on ‘Birds of South Africa’
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The White-fronted Bee-eater, Merops bullockoides (endemic to Africa), is a species of bee-eater widely distributed in sub-equatorial Africa. They have a distinctive white forehead, a square tail and a bright red patch on their throat. They nest in small colonies, digging holes in cliffs or earthen banks but can usually be seen in low trees waiting for passing insects from which they hunt either by making quick hawking flights or gliding down before hovering briefly to catch insects.
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Rooikeelbyvreter [Afrikaans]
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These birds are monogamous, strongly gregarious colonial nesters. It has one of the most complicated societies of all birds, with each colony comprising a number of groups, known as clans, each clan containing 3-6 “families”, each containing one breeding pair and 1-5 helpers. The nest is built by both sexes and sometimes a helper, consisting of a tunnel 1 – 2m long, ending in an oval chamber. The burrow is usually dug into riverbanks or gullies by moving sand with its bill or, if it finds a more serious obstacle, using a bicycling action with its feet. (Oh, how CUTE!)
-Info from Bidodiversity Explorer



8th December 2012 – SOLD 1 Greeting Card to Elizabeth Kendall – thank you my friend!
25th June 2013 – ORIGINAL SOLD – thank you to Michelle!


21st May 2011 – FEATURED in “Art Inspired by Written Words”
22nd May 2011 – FEATURED in “Fantastic Primitive Art”
24th May 2011 – FEATURED in “Nature in its Entirety”
31st May 2011 – FEATURED in “Indigenous to East & Southern Africa”
2nd June 2011 – FEATURED in “Afrikaans”
2nd July 2011 – FEATURED in “Wildlife of Southern Africa”
25th July 2011 – FEATURED in “Around the World”
29th July 2011 – FEATURED in “Creative Cards & Calendars”
13th December 2012 – FEATURED in “Amazing Wildlife”
26th December 2012 – FEATURED in “Fauna, Flora, Landscapes and Architecture of South Africa”
December 2012 – FEATURED in “EXPLORE”
21st September 2013 – FEATURED in “Art for Sale”
23rd September 2013 – FEATURED in “Love these Creatures”
2nd February 2015 – Placed in the TOP 10 of the challenge “Colourful Birds of Southern Africa” in “Wild Africa”
12th August 2015 – Placed in the TOP 10 of the challenge “Helderkleurige voëls / Brightly coloured birds” in “Afrikaans”
12th August 2015 – FEATURED in “If it doesn’t belong”
15th August 2015 – FEATURED in “Animals of Africa & Madagascar”

Artwork Comments

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