Lee’s One Word Monday – 9/5/16

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“And the following day they entered Caesarea. Now Cornelius was waiting for them, and had called together his relatives and close friends.” (Acts 10:24 NKJV)

Bee-eaters From Pinterest

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Bee-eater

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – European Bee-eater by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 6/11/16

I met my sister Gilian in Vienna where we spent a couple of days before going by boat along the Danube to Bratislava, just across the border with Slovakia. We arranged to spend three days with birding guides with my targets being to photograph raptors, owls and woodpecker. We went on the first day to this large European Bee-eater colony just outside Bratislava.

The colony was in a sandy cliff at a site near Devin Castle which sits in a strategic location at the confluence of the Danube and Morava Rivers, both of which form the border between Austria and Slovakia. I was able to sit at the edge of the cliff and photograph both birds perched in the shrubs below me and flying to and from their burrows in the cliff. European Bee-eaters are vocal and make a soft trilling call similar to their close Australian relatives, the Rainbow Bee-eater and it was very pleasant watching and listening to them.

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Ian

“European” is a bit of a mis-nomer as they are migrants from sub-Saharan Africa and breed across the warmer parts of Eurasia from North Africa, through Europe to central Asia. Since the nineteenth century some have stayed behind to breed in South Africa, which they do in the southern summer and then move farther north in Africa in the southern autumn at the same time as their Eurasian counterparts are moving north to breed in the northern hemisphere. South African populations have declined in recent years so this situation may not last.

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Ian

Bees do make up a large part of their diet, though they will eat many other insects as well. After catching a bee, a bee-eater will take it back to a perch where it bangs the head of the unfortunate insect on the branch and then rubs its tail on the branch to get rid of the sting. If you look carefully at the photo below you will see that a lucky bee has just used up one of its nine lives, that is if they have that many like cats.

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) by Ian

The photo below shows both the bee-eater colony and in the distance Devin Castle on a 200m/600ft high rock. There are bee-eater burrows both in the bank on the left and in the bottom right of the photo.

European Bee-eater (Merops apiaster) Bee-eater Colony near Devin Castle Slovakia by Ian

Devin Castle has a very interesting history and you can read about it here Devín Castle. The same site is an important one for fossils as well and our birding guide showed us some rocks that had mollusc fossils in it that looked like scallops.

I’m on a Dublin bus at the moment going to visit my niece. Thanks to the miracles of modern communication and the Irish SIM card in my mobile I can send this to you from my laptop.

Greetings
Ian

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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:

“Now for the house of my God I have prepared with all my might: gold for things to be made of gold, silver for things of silver, bronze for things of bronze, iron for things of iron, wood for things of wood, onyx stones, stones to be set, glistening stones of various colors, all kinds of precious stones, and marble slabs in abundance.” (1 Chronicles 29:2 NKJV) (emphasis mine)

I love those beautiful Bee-eaters and this European is just a colorful as the rest of them. I am glad that when the Lord created these avian beauties, He chose to give them such beautiful colors. Oh, what heaven must look like!

Thanks again, Ian, for sharing some more beautiful birds with us. Safe travels and great birding.

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Ian’s Bird of the Week

Ian’s Bee-eater Family Photos

Meropidae – Bee-eater Family

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Lee’s One Word Monday – 3/14/16

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Bee-eaters From Pinterest

FELLOWSHIP

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But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 KJV)

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Bird of the World – Blue-Cheeked Bee-eater

What a neat video of the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. I have seen photos of them, but seeing birds in action is always special. There are some birds that just hit my fancy as I admire the Lord’s Handiwork. The Bee-eaters are one of those.

By Igor Byshnev

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
(25) “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
(26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
(27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
(28) “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
(29) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(30) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(31) “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
(32) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
(33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
(34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Bee-eaters belong to the Meropidae – Bee-eaters Family which has 27 species.

As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While they pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera. (Wikipedia with editing)

Articles Mentioning Birds From This Family:

Other Websites that have photos of this Family:

Gideon

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Birds of the World – Blue-cheeked Bee-eater

Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus) by Marc at Africaddict

Southern Carmine Bee-eater (Merops nubicus) by Marc at Africaddict

What a neat video of the Blue-cheeked Bee-eater. I have seen photos of them, but seeing birds in action is always special. There are some birds that just hit my fancy as I admire the Lord’s Handiwork. The Bee-eaters are one of those.

By Igor Byshnev

Matthew 6:25-34 NKJV
(25) “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?
(26) Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?
(27) Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?
(28) “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin;
(29) and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.
(30) Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
(31) “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’
(32) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.
(33) But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
(34) Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Bee-eaters belong to the Meropidae – Bee-eaters Family which has 27 species.

As the name suggests, bee-eaters predominantly eat flying insects, especially bees and wasps, which are caught in the air by sallies from an open perch. While they pursue any type of flying insect, honey bees predominate in their diet. Hymenoptera (ants, bees and wasps) comprise from 20% to 96% of all insects eaten, with honey bees comprising approximately one-third of the Hymenoptera. (Wikipedia with editing)

Articles Mentioning Birds From This Family:

Other Websites that have photos of this Family:

Wordless Birds

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An Inside Job – Re-post from Creation Moments

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) by Africaddict

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) by Africaddict

An Inside Job

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And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” (Luke 6:31)

The White-fronted Bee-eater is an East African bird that lives in clans of up to fourteen members.

White-fronted bee-eaters have several problems to deal with. Since they nest on the cliffs overlooking riverbanks, youngsters need a great deal of attention until they learn to fly. Once they are on their own, the young birds are often put to work by their parents as helpers. A father may even drive away his sons’ mates in order to keep them as helpers.

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) ©WikiC

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) ©WikiC

Helpers bring food for their mother, brothers and sisters. They also clean the nest area and watch for danger. However, the most important job is guarding the nest at egg-laying time. This is necessary because a female who doesn’t have her own nest will sneak into another bee-eater’s nest and lay her eggs there. If the eggs are laid before the owner of the nest starts laying her eggs, she will simply toss out the foreign egg. If there are eggs already in the nest, she will also care for the foreign eggs. The important job of guarding the nest is usually given to a daughter. However, scientists have observed that sometimes it is the daughter, while on guard duty with the mother absent, who sneaks into the nest and adds a few eggs of her own!

In His goodness, the Creator has given bee-eaters a way of life in which helping each other is part of their nature. This kindness toward each other improves the quality of life. It can serve as an example to us that the world is not designed to favor the survival of the most selfish or aggressive.

Prayer:

Dear Lord, in a world that sees only personal loss when kindness is offered, help me to remember that You gave me all things freely. Help me to see the reward of good will in helping others, even those who cannot help me in return. Amen.


White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) cropped by Bob-Nan

White-fronted Bee-eater (Merops bullockoides) cropped by Bob-Nan

Lee’s Addition:

Bee-eaters are one of the Lord more beautiful bird creations. I always enjoy see their photos. Soon we are going to a Zoo that I understand has Bee-eaters. Needless to say I am anxious to see them. Aren’t they gorgeous?

They belong to the Meropidae – Bee-eaters Family.

Creation Moments

White-fronted Bee-eater – Wikipedia

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