It’s April again and I make no apologies for writing another article about the amazing European bee-eater.
Usually, around the beginning of April, they return from their African winter. However, this year, they returned a few weeks early. It’s an amazing feeling to hear their almost electronic call for the first time again.
So, please enjoy a photograph overload of one of the most beautiful birds to be found in the Algarve, the European bee-eater.
As the name suggests, they eat bees, along with anything else flying that they can catch with their acrobatic flights. In other countries, bee populations are struggling, however, here in the Algarve, even though bee-eaters consume a lot, they do not pose a threat to the bee population.
Bee-eaters are around 30cm in length and both sexes are similar. Unless you view up close, it is difficult to identify. However, the male usually has far more brown colouring on the shoulders.
I’m often asked the best locations to find them in the Algarve. They breed in colonies, digging tunnels in soft vertical banks and are usually never far from water. You may think that you must travel into the ‘Serra’ (hills), however, I have spotted them in a field in the middle of Portimão for example, and also at Praia da Angrinha in Ferragudo.
In April and early May, you will often witness the male catching food for the female and offering it in true romance as they have a courtship before mating.
By Craig Rogers
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Craig Rogers is a wildlife and nature photographer from Wales now living in the Algarve, offering photography workshops. For more information, photographs and his blog visit www.craigrogers.photography