Birding Thursday: Rainbow Bee-eater
There is something about this bird that always brings me back to wanting to see them.
Isn’t this bird stunning? I have had the honor of seeing the bird myself when I was in Australia in 2006 and 2007, and hopefully will see it again 2012…we shall see (wink wink).
Anyhow, this bird is found throughout much of Australia, though rarely in the desert areas of the continent. It can also be found in Eastern Indonesia, New Guinea and sometimes on the Solomon Islands. It likes to live in open woodland areas, shrublands and open areas mostly near water. They are also known to frequent mines and quarries which aides in their nest building as they tunnel underground.
As you can see the colors on these guys is amazing. If you want their plumage in detail, I read this on the Australian site Birds in Backyards:
“A striking, colourful bird, the Rainbow Bee-eater is medium sized, with a long slim curved bill and a long tail with distinctive tail-streamers. It has a golden crown and a red eye set in a wide black stripe from the base of the bill to the ears, which is edged with a thin blue line. The throat is orange-yellow, with a broad black band separating it from a green breast. The upperparts are green, with the flight feathers coppery and black tipped. The underwings are bright orange, with a black edge. The lower abdomen is blue. The tail is black, including the long tail streamers, with a blue tinge. Females have shorter, thicker tail streamers than males, but are otherwise similar. Young birds are duller and greener, lacking the black band on the chest and the long tail streamers.”
One amazing thing about these birds is their nesting behaviors. They create tunnels along embankments and other areas like mines, line them with grass and have small clutches in which both parents take care of the young. Sometimes they even have other birds help them out in the raising their young! These actions include collecting an abundance of bugs which they catch on the fly, and then bang on their perches before eating them or giving them to feed the chicks.
Amazing! Just amazing!!!
There is nothing I love more than a colorful bird, and these guys take the cake. I encourage you, as it’s Earth Month, to take some time to go outside and really take in the colors outside weather it be the birds, trees, flowers or animals running around!
Happy Birding Thursday!!!