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Rainbow Bee-eater

Merops ornatus

Rainbow Bee-eater
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Rainbow Bee-eater • Merops ornatus
Rainbow Bee-eater (Merops ornatus)

Often referred to as the ‘Rainbow Bird’, this medium size bird measures up to 27 cm including the tail. The upper part show green forehead, golden crown, green back; turquoise/blue, green and chestnut wings. With plumage that combines pastel tints with bright hues, the Rainbow Bee-eater has a relatively long, slim beak, that has a slight down curve. The tail is black, extending in a pair of long, fine tail streamers with elongated clubbed shaped end. The tail is much shorter and thicker in the female bird and absent in the immature bird.

The Rainbow Bee-eater is found in open airspace such as over woodland and open forest, semi-arid scrub, grassland, farmland. This provides the space for their aerial acrobatics in pursuit of flying insects such as bees and dragonflies. They do require sandy banks or loamy soil soft enough for excavating their nest burrows, but the soil needs to be firm enough to sustain the tunnel to the nest.
Common Name Scientific Name Where Found
Rainbow Bee-eater
Rainbow Bird
Merops ornatus Found throughout Australia in open areas, especially woodland and semi-arid regions.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Coraciformes
Family: Meropidae
Genus: Merops
Species: Merops ornatus
Rainbow Bee-eater • Images
Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, June 2007 Rainbow Bee-eater emerging from nest ฉ Colin Leel, October 2006 Immature Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, August 2007 Immature Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Dorothy Latimer, August 2007
Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, August 2007 Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, August 2007 Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, August 2007 Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, August 2007
Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, August 2007 Female and Male Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, Oct 2006 - August 2007 Male Rainbow Bee-eater preening ฉ Colin Leel, Oct 2006 - August 2007 Male Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, Oct 2006 - August 2007
Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, March 2007 Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, March 2007 Rainbow Bee-eater ฉ Colin Leel, March 2007  
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