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Bee-eater diving to take a bath?

on 22nd February 2016

BeeEaterBlTl-diving [ChanBoonHong] 1

Chan Boon Hong was at Jurong Eco Garden one evening when he noticed a few Blue-tailed Bee-eaters (Merops philippinus) diving into the water. They immediately emerged from the water, flew to a nearby parch to dry their feathers and preen.

BeeEaterBlTl-diving [ChanBoonHong] 2

There were no evidence of the bee-eaters catching fish or water insects. They were simply taking a bath.

BeeEaterBlTl-diving [ChanBoonHong] 3

Each bee-eater made a few dives before flying off.

BeeEaterBlTl-diving [ChanBoonHong] 4

An earlier post managed to show the Blue-tailed Bee-eater actually caught something after diving into the water.

BeeEaterBlTl-diving [ChanBoonHong] 5

Fry (1984) reported the bird taking the small, surface feeding mosquito fish (Gambusia affinis) when a vertebra of the fish was detected in a pellet regurgitated by the a Blue-tailed Bee-eater. This fish, native to southern United States and Mexico, is now found throughout the world, used mainly to control mosquito larvae in freshwater ponds and lakes.

Chan Boon Hong
Singapore
February 2016

Reference:
Fry, C.H. (1984). The Bee-eaters. T. & A.D. Poyser, Calton.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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