YOUR STORY: The Rainbow Bee Eater appears temperatures drop

Hi there i would like to share a lovely photo of a rainbow bee eater that has being hanging around in our house in Gracemere QLD.

We have lived here for about 10 years now and this is the very first time we have seen them now that it is cold they have being hanging around in big groups with males and females.

I also did some research on them they are a very flighty bird n hard to get photos of as they always are flying around getting there pray or building nests.

I was lucky enough to get some brilliant photos of them.The Rainbow Bee-Eater is a spectacular bird.

With its green, blue, chestnut and yellow plumage, its slim build, slender curved bill and distinctive streamers that extend from the end of its tail, it is simply beautiful.

Bee-Eaters are a familiar sight in many lightly-timbered parts of mainland Australia, where they often perch on fence-posts or overhead wires, then launch after flying insects, flying swiftly, sometimes with rapid twists and turns, before snapping the insect in its bill, and returning to the perch to eat it.

The Rainbow Bee-eater may resemble some kingfishers, however these are plumper, with strong straight beaks, and never catch prey in flight.The Rainbow Bee-eater is found throughout mainland Australia, as well as eastern Indonesia, New Guinea and, rarely, the Solomon Islands.

In Australia it is widespread, except in desert areas, and breeds throughout most of its range, although southern birds move north to winter over.

The Rainbow Bee-eater is most often found in open forests, woodlands and shrublands, and cleared areas, usually near water. It will be found on farmland with remnant vegetation and in orchards and vineyards. It will use disturbed sites such as quarries, cuttings and mines to build its nesting tunnels.

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.

Rainbow Bee-eaters gather in small flocks before returning to summer breeding areas after over-wintering in the north (apart from the resident northern populations).

Both males and females select a suitable nesting site in a sandy bank and dig a long tunnel (average length: 89.4 cm) leading to a nesting chamber, which is often lined with grasses.

Both parents incubate the eggs and both feed the young, sometimes with the assistance of auxiliaries (helpers).

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