Feeding behaviour of the Blue-tailed Bee-eater

“This pair of Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus philippinus) was hawking for insects from this branch. It was interesting to note the behaviour of the Blue-tailed Bee-eater on the right. As the partner/friend flew in with a catch, it began to “wag the tail” and get all fluffed up in anticipation. It then continued the ”wagging” and seemed to “beg” for a bite/to eat the prey. Only when it was sure that it was not going to be fed did it return to usual behaviour.

“Not sure if this is a juvenile who has recently become an adult or just a mate expecting a feed.”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ex-mining pools around Gua Tempurung
Gopeng, Perak, Malaysia
29th December 2009

Maybe the bird on the right is a female expecting to be fed in courtship? And maybe the priority of male was more to eat than to mate?

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