Bee-eater diving to take a bath?

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
February 2016

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

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