Beauty contest

It seems to me that South African birds compete for the title of most beautiful, each trying to outdo the other in number and shades of color.  Here are a few more shots of the beautiful birds of Botswana and nearby areas of Namibia (specifically, Impalila Island in the Zambezi river).

Lilac-breasted Roller

Probably my all-time favorite, the Lilac-breasted Roller.  Someone counted as many as nine colors exhibited in the plumage of this bird.

Carmine Bee-eater

A close second on my “most beautiful” list, the Carmine Bee-eater.

Carmine Bee-eater

Close-up, there are subtle shades of orangey-magenta hues in its ventral feathers.

White-throated bee-eaters

White-throated bee-eaters are highly social, congregating en masse on a branch, but this happen to be a parent feeding two almost fully feathered offspring.

White-throated Bee-eater

White-thraoated Bee-eaters sport a rainbow of colors on their chest and back.

Blue Waxbill

Blue Waxbills forage in small flocks on tiny seeds scattered among the pebbles.  Their bill really looks more violet than blue.

Malachite Kingfisher

A tiny Malachite Kingfisher is dwarfed by the stalk of papyrus on which it sits. Its oversized bill enables it to catch small fish as well as the errant dragonfly.

Pied kingfisher

The Pied Kingfisher gets points for feistiness and athleticism, even if it doesn’t have rainbow colors in its plumage.

Pied kingfisher

Pied kingfishers are often seen hovering above the water, waiting until the fish come to the surface to dive in after them.

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