Bee Eater Nesting Is Underway (Video)

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I was up with the sun this morning at just after 6am (yes is gets light quite late here in Portugal in the summer) and went for a look at how the Bee Eater nests are doing.

When I arrived, I was lucky, there were no Bee Eaters present (above ground anyway), so I hid myself away under a tree (and camo netting) and waited.

Soon enough I was surrounded by Bee Eaters sitting on a nearby electric cable bringing food back to the tunnel nests. They look like they’ve struck gold and found Hornets and they were busy whacking the sting against the cable to break it off.

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European Bee Eater with Hornet - D810, AF-S 500mm f/2.8 @ 500mm, f/6.3, ISO200, 1/1600sec - {Flickr Link}

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The Bee Eaters gave up on the nesting site………but moved just a few hundred metres away!

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There has been no activity at the “hole” for a few days and it seems as though the Bee Eaters gave up building there. Possibly due to the ground being quite hard. This morning, I was up before the sun and thought I’d go and hide myself in an area they seemed to like to catch their food near the river that flows through our land.

To my surprise, I stumbled across their new nesting site and the earth seems a lot softer. The crazy thing is, it’s in a bank which is only there due to a public dirt track that cuts through to cross the river.

Not many vehicles use it, but it is a way through to some of the houses on the other side of the river. I hid myself away under my bag hide and waited.

Once the sun was up, the Bee Eaters came and spent about 2 hours catching food. The males living up to their reputation for giving anything large to their female partners to eat. Eventually, after a 2 and half hour wait, they started to come down to the nest sites to continue their excavation work.

There was some thick cloud cover this morning so the light wasn’t the greatest, but I was determined to just sit and watch and snap some pictures, albeit not with an ideal exposure.

Here is one of a male (I think, due to the yellow shoulders) at it’s nest hole.

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European Bee Eater - Abelharuco

It’s not really viable to leave my pop-up hide in this location, so I’m going to knock up a temporary small wooden hide I can place here, watch this space!

The Bee Eaters have started to make a nest, but not so sure they are staying

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Early this afternoon, the Bee Eaters (Abelharucos in Portuguese) were absent from around the house so I decided to take a quick look at their handy work and also quickly erect a pop-up hide.

I sat in the hide for a short while and a breeding pair turned up. They seemed a little nervous around the area, possibly with the hide there, but did visit a few times.

Only once did the male (I think it’s the male) go to the hole that they have started but then the pair flew away. It takes up to 20 days to build the nest so hopefully they will return to complete it. I have also left the hide in place for them to get used to it being there.

You can just about work out the start of the hole on the live view on the camera;

In the hide

I did manage to get this shot of one sitting in a nearby tree.

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