Blue-tailed Bee-eater manipulating a dragonfly

One of bee-eaters’ favourite food, or at least what we perceive as its favourite, is dragonflies. This is because photographers love to document these birds in the act of manipulating a dragonfly prior to swallowing it after its successful aerial chase.

The series of images by Johnny Wee, shows a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus ) in the process of swallowing a dragonfly after it was properly thrashed against the perch. The bird expertly flipped the insect into the air. With its mandibles opened wide, the bird caught the dragonfly as it fell head-first into the bird’s throat. Once caught between the mandibles, the dragonfly was then immediately swallowed.

The series were photographed at Sungei Balang, Johor, Malaysia on 1st November 2008.

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8 Responses

  1. […] The bird expertly flipped the insect into the air . With its mandibles opened wide, the bird caught the dragonfly as it fell head-first into the bird’s throat More […]

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  2. These are great! Not only a great illustration of behavior, but a beautiful bird too!

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  3. Hi Y.C., Yes, I know Singapore quite well and its varied history. Not to mention some of the most elaborate decorations at Christmastime I’ve seen anywhere else. It’s a beautiful city! I can also attest to its astute emergency medical care – having arrived there once from the jungles of Nepal with tick fever. I was capably cured and back on my feet in no time to enjoy the city and its festive holiday atmosphere (not to mention the cursory drink at Raffles). Since you wrote this particular series of birds was photographed at Sungei Balang, Johor, Malaysia – I went with the birding destination, as I did with many other posts. I look forward to coming back to Singapore and checking out some of these wonderful sites you frequent on your blog. And, sadly, I have still not made it to Malaysia – close but no cigar.

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  4. Thanks for the above. Give me a call the next time you are around.

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  5. […] Blogging about Malaysia: Come here to the Bird Ecology Study Group where Y.C. from Singapore crosses the border to Malaysia and […]

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  6. Nice shoot. Really Exclusive.

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  7. […] far, we have only documented bee-eaters catching dragonflies: HERE, HERE and HERE. Related posts:Pied Fantail takes a dragonfly Mark G. photographed this Pied Fantail […]

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