The Blue-bearded Bee-eater is one of the largest species of Bee-eaters found in India. Our first sighting of them was a few years back in BR Hills. However, when we saw them they were perched on top of the canopy and it was difficult to get a clean shot. We did see them again in Thattekad, but once again, good pictures eluded us.

Jeep safaris into the Bandipur national park and the other Tiger reserves in the country revolve around the search for the elusive Bengal Tiger. But fortunately for us, the group of tourists on our safari jeep this time around, were open to do some birding along the way. We got some good pictures of the Flame-back Woodpecker and the Hoopoe among other species of birds. But the highlight of this safari into the Bandipur national park was the sighting of the Blue-bearded Bee-eater.

We spotted this pair of Blue-bearded Bee-eaters perched on the clear branch of a dead tree in good light. It looked like they were warming themselves on this cold winter morning. We managed to get our best portraits to date of this species, though they were just beyond the reach of the 300mm f2.8 lens with the 2x convertor. We cropped the images marginally to get these compositions.