Blue-tailed Bee-eater and the dragonfly

posted in: Bee-eaters, Feeding-invertebrates | 7

Lee Tiah Khee photographed a Blue-tailed Bee-eater (Merops philippinus) in the act of swallowing a dragonfly earlier this year. “It took less than two seconds to swallow it.”

According to our bird specialist R Subaraj, who is also into dragonflies: “Based on the colouration, the shape of the abdomen, the reddish tinge in the wing and the brown patch at the base of the hindwing, I would lean toward the dragonfly being a male Tramea transmarina.

“In Singapore, this is a fairly common dragonfly of open country areas, including grasslands.”

Bee-eaters have been documented catching and eating dragonflies. This is probably one of its favourite food. Photographers love to document the bee-eater handling dragonflies as these insects are large, colourful and make excellent subjects.

This post is a cooperative effort between and BESG to bring the study of bird behaviour through photography to a wider audience


7 Responses

  1. Beautiful image of bird behavior!

  2. […] bookmarks tagged dragonfly Bird Ecology Study Group » Blue-tailed Bee-eater … saved by 4 others     HeissesKreuz bookmarked on 02/03/09 | […]

  3. […] bee-eaters are a favourite subject of photographers, who love to show these birds catching them on the wing to expertly manipulate […]

  4. Capture right on the moment when a bird take action 🙂

  5. […] 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 (Rhipidura […]

  6. […] of these odonates include birds like bee-eaters LINK and Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis), bitterns and herons. Related posts:Damselfly larvae devour […]

  7. […] take other insects most of the time and photographers love to display them with a dragonfly LINK – more eye-catching than with a smaller bee, I suppose. In the case of spiderhunters, they are […]


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