Rainbow Bee-eater

Rainbow Bee-eater perched on a high tree branch with food

What does it look and sound like? This brilliantly coloured bird is unmistakable in both plumage and voice. Both Rainbow Bee-eater sexes have beautiful blue-green body plumage, a rufous crown, a yellow throat, and conspicuous black lines through the eyes and on the two central tail feathers extend beyond the rest of the tail; these are longer on the male. In flight the wings are bright rufous-orange below. The call is a high-pitched “trrrrp-trrrrp”, mainly in flight.

Where does it live? Found throughout Australia, migrating north outside of the breeding season.

What are its habitats and habits? Rainbow Bee-eaters are abundant in open, lightly timbered areas.

Scientific name: Merops ornatus

Do you want to know the best places to go to see this species? Check out our book “Australia’s Birdwatching Megaspots” – available for purchase through our secure online store