Spring is the time I am always looking for, not only because nature spontaneously comes back to life but because it is the time when the European Bee-eater ends the long journey from Africa, back to the mating and breeding grounds. Despite all the available scientific studies, the European Bee-eater is still misunderstood, often blamed for wreaking havoc in the bee colonies, for example. Several authors have concluded that this colorful bird, a close relative to the kingfisher which we all love, has an important role to play in the reduction of different crop parasites and even determining the bee families to forage more. The impact on the bee colonies can be further reduced by taking some easy-to-follow precautions, such as placing the hives further away from the breeding grounds. When it comes to photographing the bird in flight, the entire process is both a treat and a challenge as you have to be aware of the direction of the wind, the bee-eaters' sudden shifts of direction while making sure you keep movement to a minimum, not to scare them away. At the end of the day, with enough patience and several full memory cards, you can end up with a couple of photos that show the bird in its true splendor.
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Clare Disano • Editor