Taken with Canon 1Div, 400mm 5.6L
at Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia.
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.
They are found throughout mainland Australia,and are widespread, except in desert areas, and breed throughout most of their range, although southern birds move north to breed.
Rainbow Bee-eaters eat insects, mainly catching bees and wasps, as well as dragonflies, beetles, butterflies and moths. They catch flying insects on the wing and carry them back to a perch to beat them against it before swallowing them. Bees and wasps are rubbed against the perch to remove the stings and venom glands.
They gather in small flocks before returning to summer breeding areas after over-wintering in the north (apart from the resident northern populations). Both parents incubate the eggs and both feed the young, sometimes with the assistance of auxiliaries (helpers).
info from birdsinbackyards.net