Saturday, May 22, 2010

Blue-tailed Bee-eater

A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The Blue-tailed Bee-eater is a common migrant which dispersers throughout the country. Small groups of these birds have been spotted taking up residence in tall trees around Colombo. These images were captured in Anuradhapura near Tissa Wewa (lake). The birds were flying out over the water to catch insects and kept returning to the fence to consume their prey or to take a small break. Returning to the same perch while hunting is common behaviour among Fly-catchers. It's very difficult to photograph these birds in flight as they are quick. More images and info inside.

A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

Differentiating the Blue-tailed Bee-eater from other Bee eaters is not difficult. It doesn't have a black line across it's throat like the other Bee-eaters found in Sri Lanka and it has a lot of brown and very little yellow around the throat area (reverse of the  Chestnut-headed Bee-eater). It's long central tail feathers are also prominent. The tail is obviously blue in colour. It can reach a length of around 23-26 cm and both sexes are similar.

A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

These birds nest in colonies on sandy banks or open flat areas. They build a relatively long tunnel in which they lay 5 - 7 spherical white eggs.  The eggs are taken care of by both males and females.  These birds feed and roost in groups.

A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka

The images on this post were captured with a Canon 7D and the 100-400mm lens.

A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka
A Blue-tailed Bee-eater photographed in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka


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10 comments:

Breanna said...

Another beautiful bird! I am so jealous! You have so many amazing birds where you are!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks Breanna, I'm actually based in Sydney. These shots were taken over a period of a month when I was back in Sri Lanka on holiday.

Me-shak said...

Amazing Dev, I'm not surprised is coming from you :) Love the shades of the bee eater. The first is my favorite. Looking forward for more from you.
Cheers!

Chris said...

What a beautiful and interesting post Dev. Bee eaters are my favorite with waxwings. We have the European bee eater in France and I visited a nice colony last year. Unforgettable!!
Your blue cheek is wonderful too and I would love to see this species. Yours pictures are awesome!

Gallicissa said...

Blue-tailed is such a poser. lovely shots. Hey, it's Royal vs Peter's today, and I am excited about it :) It's gonna be testing for both teams with muddy conditions after monsoonal lashings. I bet you wish you were in Sri Lanka today!

Dev Wijewardane said...

Thanks for visiting guys.

Amila, Yep I wish I was there for this one. It should be one of the best games of the season. I'll watch it on papare. Apparently they are streaming the game live. Wish it was dry there though, would have liked to see both teams moving the ball a bit.

Gallicissa said...

Well played Royal!
They nearly took the game away from us in the second half O_O
Too many mistakes from both sides, no?

Dev Wijewardane said...

Yeah. Not sure why Royal didn't set up for the drop goal in the last few minutes though.This will probably be the best game of the season.

T and S said...

Fabulous composition, I loved it...Thomas

Theresa Addington said...

beautifully captured! the first photo is my favorite. so sweet and peaceful~