Lifescapes Gallery

30 / Dec / 2009
Sting Operation!
Blue-tailed Bee-eater, Kabini
Jayanth Sharma

Sting Operation!

There’s nothing undercover about this sting operation. It’s all above board, very public, and cruelly exposes the pretentions of dangerous denizens like Messrs. Bee, Wasp & Hornet, and the limitations of their supposedly invincible weaponry. The main theatre of operation is the lush expanse of Kabini, where the Blue-tailed Bee-eaters are the designated super sleuths of the jungle, and have the license to hunt down stinging intruders, without bothering to take prisoners. Of course the very name of our avian heroes is a giveaway about their appetite for meals with a little more ‘bite’ than normal. These bejeweled Page 3 celebs of the jungle journals are highly social birds and can be found strutting their stuff on high, exposed branches, discussing the previous night’s spread, whilst keeping a beady eye out for winged visitors who can be added to the day’s menu. Woe betide a passing Bee or Wasp who depends on her sting to keep out of harm’s way. Nemesis comes hurtling down from above, in a dazzling flash of green and blue, and before one can blink, a long, rapier sharp beak takes hold, and with an audible snap, the insect is consigned to history. The powerful beak squeezes the venom out, and for good measure, the stinger is vigorously thrashed against the perch to get rid of the sting. The main course, having been subdued and beaten up, is consumed with a generous side order of less dangerous Dragonflies and Grasshoppers, and then, it’s off again to the nearest rooftop party, while we lesser mortals applaud the show and hurry back to tell our children the Kabini version of the story of the birds and the bees.

We at Orange County have loved sharing this story with you, and shall bring you one every fortnight, as part of our Responsible Tourism Initiatives to raise awareness about the nature and culture of the environments we operate in.

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 30th, 2009 at 9:00 am and is filed under Birds, Kabini . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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User Comments
  1. vimi says:

    such a beautiful shot & so much information !! Thanx for sharing.

  2. shyam says:

    It has been very cool to see that you have done a good photography of birds in your mail whih makes us to see the unknown ones.

  3. Raghunath says:

    AWESOME photgraphy. And the write-up matches in merit superbly. Wish more interesting pictures comes out.

  4. Arshad says:

    Excellent picture & good insight

  5. Jagadish Bopaiah. M. says:

    Great picture and good wright up

  6. S G NEGINHAL says:

    superb shot

  7. Heinz Weber says:

    Congratulations for getting the right moment. Then bee-eater is beautiful even though it eats bees and the hornets I admire too.

  8. elias says:

    that was an amazing shot

  9. Tapas Misra says:

    Amazing shot. I never thought one could catch the eye and expression of a bee eater. Congratulations

  10. shivuu.k says:

    What a great Shot sir! your timing, patience and technical aspects is simply superb sir…congragualation!

  11. Nandakumar says:

    Great shot and yet another lovely write-up. Happy New Year to the Lifescapes team.

  12. Mookambika says:

    very good pic..shot with atmost professionalism….hats off

  13. PG Muthanna says:

    A truly amazing picture that brings out the bee eater in all it’s splendour and well suplemented by the write up – keep up the good work and wish you a very happy new year

  14. Vicky Robinson says:

    Amazing shot. The bird’s whole demeanour shouts ‘don’t mess with me!’.

  15. anil gupta says:

    i have never seen a photograph like this b4. wow….
    appreciate your patience and the skill.
    cheers and wishes for new year

  16. S. Pearson says:

    Fantastic photograph and beautifully written text.

  17. Nikhil says:

    Excellent picture, what a timing…mind blowing…

  18. anand says:

    I am happy to see mail of orange county. photograph are very nice. keep on doing. definetely it will help to boost your sales. tan q

  19. Rajesh Rajoo says:

    Who writes these wonderful pieces? Love reading them.

  20. Sandeep says:

    lovely photo. i doubt that it has been taken at Kabini. I went there last year and apart from a black bird there was no other wild life that your guides could show me in the safari. please stop misleading people by publishing such photographs and creating expectations that are not real.

    • Vikram Nanjappa - Chief Naturalist Orange County Kabini says:

      Dear Sir,
      Thank you very much for taking time to post a comment. Kabini is one of the richest wildlife areas in India, having the largest density of herbivores and also one of the few places where three major predators coexist in high densities. It is rather unfortunate and an extreme rarity that your safari was so disappointing. Bee-Eaters in general are fairly common in most parts of India. They can be usually seen sitting in rows on electric lines or fences. I would say that the uniqueness of this issue of Lifescapes is not the rarity of the bird but the superb timing of Jayanth’s photograph. The Blue Tailed Bee – Eater is a winter visitor to Kabini and peninsular India and breeds in the North and North East of the subcontinent. They are found in good numbers during this period and can even bee seen in and around the resort.

  21. Manish says:

    All these stories you share are quite fantastic and are a pleasure to read. Not to say the least – they add to the knowledge of birds from our vast expanse of forests in India.

    Thanks for regularly sharing these.

    Short visit to Orange County Coorg was quite a pleasure and I am sure Kabini is as good or better. I look forward to visit and live some of these stories in real.


    Head – South Asia Sales| Mumbai
    Oracle Financial Services Software Ltd

  22. RAKESH D DHARIA says:

    Lovely photo and the writing is great. Kindly keep it up.

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