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Author Topic: Bee Eater birds  (Read 359 times)

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Offline GeordieBorn

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Bee Eater birds
« on: August 26, 2018, 11:08:50 AM »
Has anyone else seen or heard these wonderful birds? We nearly always hear them long before we spot them. The other day we were privileged to see around 15 or more of these birds within 1-2 meters above us. They were stalling mid-air and one did so on the rise and back-flipped to catch something (wasp or hornet I guess). They always seem to be about this time of year and judging by the varied colour, size and activity there is a mixture of young and parents. If you listen to them on this youtube link with the volume down a little it’s an unmistakeable call to pick up for real. The picture with those wonderful colours does not really do it justice when you see them moving and the light catching them.


Offline levissima

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2018, 11:55:21 AM »
I hope they eat spiders too. My friend has found two types she’s never seen before in her garden. One is the yellow and black striped wasp spider and the other is yellowish orange with markings like a face on its back, possibly a Halloween spider. Both venomous, so she’d be very pleased to see them gone!

Offline old timer

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2018, 03:20:44 PM »
I think the wasp spider is not venomous.  It has a bite. It often kils the male after mating if it is not quick enough. They are a beautiful looking spider. You can often find then in the wood store. 

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 04:32:37 PM »
If you chuck your spiders up in the air the bee eaters might take them ;) , but their favourite is the big hornets which they bang on a wire or branch and then throw it up in the air catch it and swallow it in one go. The wasp spiders are lovely looking and always around at this time in big numbers. I really like them and am sure I check that they are okay regards bite. I just wish they would not string their webs across between my tomato plants ::)

Offline Rustychain

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2018, 04:30:30 PM »
Like Geordie I always hear these lovely birds before I see them; a really nice warm, tumbling call. They tend to fly high above us & have an unmistakable silhouette when seen from below. And of course they look absolutely stunning when seen up close.

In Abruzzo since March 2013

Offline Brush Strokes

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2018, 08:01:02 PM »
Been hearing these birds and seeing them from a distance at our house for sometime now, but never close enough to appreciate the colours. However the house I have been working on this week, they are flying around much lower, but also perching on nearby trees, giving plenty of time to admire these fine creatures.  :)

Offline popinjaykev

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2018, 07:49:06 AM »
Yes I had my annual flypast on Wednesday probably 60 or more - they are on there way back to Africa and unfortunately it is a sign that summer in Italy is over for them this year. I always get excited when I see them like this and it makes me so happy.
In All things be a witness and if necessary use words.

Offline levissima

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2018, 09:08:49 AM »
Can you ornithologists settle something for me? In Montefino we have crows or rooks, not sure which. In winter and spring they are a real nuisance, they perch on my TV areal, and make a racket and a hell of a mess. I don’t see them during summer, when the pigeons take over. Do they migrate somewhere else or are they still about but just not nesting or bringing up young?

P.s. I’ve just recently noticed they are back but not in large numbers yet.

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2018, 11:28:42 AM »
I'm no Orni, but it is a bit like Linseeds Tits... Here they go missing in summer after nesting and like you the crows (ours are mainly hooded) also go. I suspect it is the heat and an abundance of food further up the mountains where they reside in summer to keep cooler. At the moment they are all fighting over the walnut trees as most such as the crows, magpies and jays seem to love the nuts.... Storing up for winter I guess.

Offline Venatore

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #9 on: September 07, 2018, 11:47:43 AM »
In response to Levi’s puzzlement I remember once hearing
‘If you see crows, them is rooks and if you see a rook that be a crow’
Supposedly rooks are flock birds and crows solitary!
V.

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2018, 01:13:32 PM »
Yes like Venatore,I always went by that or a similar saying, but evidence of my own eyes tells me it is simply not true (well at least most of the time here).  Perhaps it refers to carrion crows only? This site gives a nice guide to the crow family, which includes rooks. Not only do we see 50 or more at times, some of them (very few) are not hooded crows, I shall now try to identify what they are, but they are smaller and often squabble with the hooded crows.

Offline Venatore

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2018, 02:51:34 PM »
Of course your Italian crow is much more sociable!
V.

Offline GeordieBorn

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Re: Bee Eater birds
« Reply #12 on: September 07, 2018, 03:28:29 PM »
A bit like their human counterparts on the beach :D