Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Feeding Behavior of Bee-eater

As the name suggest bees and wasps formed main diet of bee-eaters but they also feed on most flying insect such as dragonfly. I’m particularly delighted to watch the bee-eater ‘process’ their prey before consuming it or feed it to their juvenile.

When the bee-eater caught a bee or wasp, the bee-eater will repeatedly hit and rub them on the tree branch and at the same time add pressure onto the prey. This will remove most of the venom from their prey. Only then the prey is considered safe for consumption.
I saw this pair of Blue-throated Bee-eater (Merops viridis) last week during my trip to Pulau Ubin.

The juvenile (just fledged and without the brown caped) on the left patiently waiting while the parent is processing the bee.

The adult bee-eater hold the prey in the bill and hit it against the tree branch that she perched on several time.
The bee-eater will at the same time add pressure onto the prey to force most of the venom out from the prey.
Only when the prey is considere safe for consumption, the adult bee-eater will feed it to their juvenile.
The adult carefully place the bee into the open bill of the juvenile.
The adult will just watch the juvenile slowly consume the processed food.
What a beautiful sight! "Like father like son!" or you may say "Like mother like daughter!

1 comment:

  1. I say the same, what a beautiful sight to observe, and thanks for the info on the eating process, how cool, and how intelligent they are. Anna :) PS excellent photo gallery.