Courtship feeding of the Chestnut-headed Bee-eater

posted in: Bee-eaters, Courtship-Mating | 2

Wee Hiang Her’s study of the Chestnut-headed Bee-eater (Merops leschenaulti) was documented in Penang, Malaysia in early October 2009.

The image above shows the male (assuming it is the male) offering the female a butterfly he had caught earlier. This is a common courtship feeding ritual among bee-eaters and some other birds. There is another bee-eater perching nearby but there is no attempt at stealing the food.

Once the food is handed over to the female, he proceeds to court her further, hoping to complete the intended copulation (above). However, she is not interested in copulation just yet, wanting to eat the gift first. Thus she manipulates the food to eventually swallow it with a single gulp (below).

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

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  1. […] Mail (will not be published) (required) Website. follow me on twitter. May 2009. April 2009 …Bird Ecology Study Group Courtship feeding of the Chestnut …This is a common courtship feeding ritual among bee-eaters and some other birds. There is another […]

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  2. […] is courtship feeding, as seen in may species of birds… bee-eaters, barbets and koel. The two hornbills have apparently bonded and were then in courtship mode. At the […]

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