European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

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The European Bee-eater is a near passerine bird in the bee-eater family Meropidae. It breeds in southern Europe and in parts of north Africa and western Asia. It is strongly migratory, wintering in tropical Africa, India and Sri Lanka. This species occurs as a spring overshoot north of its range, with occasional breeding in northwest Europe. Just as the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat insects, especially bees and wasps which are caught in the air by sorties from an open perch. Before eating its meal, a Bee-eater removes the sting by repeatedly hitting the insect on a hard surface. It eats some 250 bees daily. Lizards and frogs are also taken. They reach a length of 27–29 cm (10.6–11.4 in). Sexes are alike.
European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), Lake Kerkini, Greece, Europe

Nikon D200, Nikkor 80-400 mm at 400 mm, 1/800 sec at f/ 5.6, ISO 200
© Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos Photography. All Rights Reserved.

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Views 777 / Favorited by 11 people / April 10, 2013

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  • Istvan froghunter
    Istvan froghunterabout 4 years ago

    Awesome capture Konstantinos! Very beautiful bird.

  • Thank you very much Istvan!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • photoloi
    photoloiabout 4 years ago

  • Many thanks for the feature Photoloi, much appreciated!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Ray Clarke
    Ray Clarkeabout 4 years ago

  • Thank you Ray!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Ben Waggoner
    Ben Waggonerabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful portrait of an exquisitely-colored bird! Very well done!

  • Thanks a lot my friend Ben!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Mark Hughes
    Mark Hughesabout 4 years ago

    Beautiful bird, great capture.

  • Thanks a lot Mark, cheers!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Russell Couch
    Russell Couchabout 4 years ago

    Wonderful capture

  • Thanks a lot Russell!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Neil Bygrave (NATURELENS)
    Neil Bygrave (...about 4 years ago

    A real beauty :-)

  • Thanks a lot Neil, cheers!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • AnnDixon
    AnnDixonabout 4 years ago

  • With pleasure!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • jesika
    jesikaabout 4 years ago

    Exquisite bird & lovely image

  • Thank you very much Jesika!

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

  • Dayonda
    Dayondaabout 4 years ago

    28 Feb 2011

    What a gorgeous photo of a fantastic bird! They must be fairly large?

  • Many thanks for the feature Dayonda, much appreciated!
    The European Bee-eaters are small birds, they reach a length of 27–29 cm (10.6–11.4 in).

    – Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos

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