(Merops ornatus)

Length:  23-27 cm Common Summer Migrant

The flash of this migratory bird’s orange wings against the blue sky is usually first seen at LKCC around the 20th of October.

Rainbow Bee-eaters are communal birds, and fly in groups of 20 to 30. They fly both by day, and by night, and roost together. They perch on exposed horizontal branches, and then glide, swoop, twist, and wheel in pursuit of flying insects and bees. Each bird then glides back to its perch to batter the insect to squeeze out any sting before devouring it. One bird may eat several hundred wasps, and bees in a day.

Rainbow Beeeaters spend the winter in the drier woodlands of northern Australia, and migrate south to breed. They nest in groups of about 30 birds, and help one another to dig nesting burrows. They share incubation, brooding, and feeding of the young. Eggs 3 to 7 Glossy translucent white.