Juxtaposition: Blue Jay vs. Bee-eater

GrrlScientist posted links to an impressive photo gallery and article on Bee-eaters (Merops apiaster). The first photo immediately struck me as a contrast to the memorable image sequence that concluded with the vomiting Blue Jay as published in the Animal Behavior textbook. The striking color pattern of the Old World milkweed lepidopterans does not serve as an indicator of unpalatability to the Bee-eater as does that of the Monarch to the Blue Jay. And then I began to wonder, what do the Bee-eaters do with all of that chitin?

© Lincoln P. Brower © Jözsef L. Szentpéteri

© Lincoln P. Brower © Jözsef L. Szentpéteri
© Lincoln P. Brower © A.J. Drummond-Hill

The Blue Jay vomits and learns a lesson. The Bee-eater casts a pellet and will likely hunt again, though bees are preferred prey.

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~ by finchwench on Wednesday, 17 September 2008.

2 Responses to “Juxtaposition: Blue Jay vs. Bee-eater”

  1. Very instructive!

  2. Photos tell the story better than do I.

    Although, I should clarify (to avoid accusations of bad journalism) that while the Blue Jay sequence was indeed a sequence (at least that is how the images were presented in the text), the Bee-eater photos do not correspond to actual sequence. Furthermore, from what I have read, the Blue Jay’s response is observable within seconds while the Bee-eater’s process occurs within about half an hour.

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