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.