Bird of the Month- August 2014

I’m hoping by starting a new series of Bird of the Month posts here, it’ll give you all a little insight into a new British/European bird each month as well as encouraging me to get out the art materials more frequently than I have been in the past. Each month, I’ll pick a bird which of note from that month and that I think is worth sharing with you all as well as a few birdy facts about the species.

There really was only one choice for my bird of August 2014…

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European Bee-eater

1. These colourful beauties are usually found across Europe although occasionally the birds appear in Britain.

2. This year, bee-eaters bred on the Isle of Wight (where I went to see them!). That’s only the third time they’ve ever bred in the UK. It’s likely that this was a one-off occurrence but we shall have to wait and see to find out whether the birds return again next summer.

3. The birds nest as a pair but may also have some ‘helpers’- other adult birds who haven’t settled down to breed themselves who find food, incubate the young and help make the nest along with the parent birds.

4. The birds nest in a long tunnel which they excavate themselves. The eggs are then incubated for around 3 weeks before the young leave the nest.

5. They don’t just eat bees- dragonflies, wasps and other insects are also favourite foods which they catch on the wing.

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