W & N watercolours on Visual 200gsm
“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.”
See my SATURDAY CHAT on ‘Birds of South Africa’
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.
Rooikeelbyvreter [Afrikaans]; Sitembandayi (generic term for non-Carmine bee-eaters) [Kwangali]; Muhladzanhu, Muhlagambu (generic terms for bee-eater) [Tsonga]; Morôkapula (generic term for bee-eater) [Tswana]; Witkapbijeneter [Dutch]; Guêpier à front blanc [French]; Weißstirnspint, Weißstirn-Bienenfresser [German]; Abelharuco-de-testa-branca [Portuguese]
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
(P.S.: Elizabeth and I were chatting on BM this morning, and both decided to sketch something, seeing who could up-load first! It amazes me that we both came up with birds! See Liz’s sketch here)
8th December 2012 – SOLD 1 Greeting Card to Elizabeth Kendall – thank you my friend!
25th June 2013 – ORIGINAL SOLD – thank you to Michelle!