Little Bee-eaters and a bridal gift

ZwergspintWatching and photographing the colorful Bee-eater is always a great experience. The (European) Bee-eater (Merops apiaster), which also occurs in Germany, is only one representative of a whole family, which has its stronghold in the tropics, especially in Africa. A common representative in Kenya is the Little Bee-eater (Merops pusillus), which occurs in a large part of sub-Saharan Africa. I was especially happy that I was able to photograph this Bee-eater on the approach of the branch and that it also took along its prey, a fat hoverfly. The courtship is a very special ritual between the Bee-eaters. The male brings his beloved a bride gift in the form of a fat wasp, bee or dragonfly. Bee-eaters, according to their name, like to present striped insects. At that moment in the Taita Hills Wildlife Sanctuary in eastern Kenya in October she, the female, sits for a while next to or behind him and does not appear immediately interested. Perhaps as a bride, she is waiting for the male to offer her the wedding gift even more invitingly. She adorns herself, but then gratefully accept the bride’s present. Unfortunately, I could not photograph the subsequent “return”.

The individual of a Little Bee-eater is probably from the subspecies Merops pusillus cyanostictus. The subspecies occurs in the Kenyan highlands and from there through the arid east and north of Kenya to northern Somalia. Characteristic are the wide light blue stripes over the eye and the narrow purple-blue line between throat and collar.

To cope with the growing demand for top shots of the rarer species of the Palearctic Bird-Lens is keen to enrich the range of pictures of birds you can find; and this not only in the Western Palearctic.  Beside the image of the blog you can find a nice selection of birds in the gallery or in the “Picture Shop” very soon. Just give a message, if Bird-Lens.com could serve you with an image needed before the new pictures are online.

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