To be a bee-eater or not to be a bee

Bee-eaters can be found all over India. From metropolitan cities to ghosted forests about 5000 feet up in the Himalayas. They are identified by their curvy beaks and long tail-feathers. Some are born with blue beards and others blessed with roasted chestnut-colored skullcaps.

On bright summer days, the undersides of their wings hold sunlight. Like jet-propelled turquoise demitasses, they fly around in search of bees, beetles, and wasps. They spear them, remove their venomous stings and thrash the lifeless bodies into small portions.

It is as gruesome as it sounds. But nobody laments for the early worm. Cruelty maketh its fragile ecosystem. So, does ours. And we can complain about it on Twitter.

During chilly days, Bee-Eaters can be seen lounging in groups. They tuck their bills, huddling like orphans in a storm, to keep cozy. Munias, Weaverbirds, and Swallows display such behavior. What is special about bee-eaters is that some studies indicate that they observe and understand human behaviour.

Groups of them can huddle and feel warm without having to be willing participants in orgies. Or attend funerals for loved ones. There is a chance that bee-eaters are aware of our mistakes.

Featured here are the Green Bee-eaterBlue-Bearded Bee-eater, and the Chestnut-Headed Bee-eater that I have spotted in the Western Ghats, the city of Chennai and its outskirts.

The ghost in you
exfoliates the unwashed host in me,
with tobacco teeth and
turquoise demitasses
filled to the brink of defeat,
brimming with the greenest of tea
and serenity.

Green Bee-Eater - Vedanthangal

(Photographs: Western Ghats, Chennai, Pulicat & Kanchipuram)

43 thoughts on “To be a bee-eater or not to be a bee

Add yours

  1. “turquoise demitasses filled to the brink of defeat with the greenest of tea.” what a lovely lovely image, C! Hail caffeinated imagery!
    Beautiful, as always. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful little birdies…and your prose! You choose such exquisite words. They make me smile, like the little cherries in your photos. Oh, to have so many bee-eaters nearby to watch. Lucky you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Exfoliation.n sorta deep cleansing remedy ur greenest of teas evoke..hope they have a twinkle or two of the golden shimmering ripple waves..the detours n descripts n pic r excellent.. Loved the way u build in a metaphorical story fr their postures n behaviours…stirs in the curisity yo sight them..the glaring greens n the yogic blues.. Keep accounting ur world ur beauteous way.. Nothing less of a rare combo of a poet with salim ali’s mind:)

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hey Christy..great blog..very informative…and fun! I do tours in North India…they are very comprehensive, pretty.., touching, and inspiring. I would like to host you and your friends in the Himalayas with us sometime, if you would like as well. Tell me if you are interested at all, and I can tell you more. Check my website by same name, and blog too. Warmly, Rahul

    Liked by 1 person

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