Rainbow Bee-eater

Merops ornatus

Order

CORACIIFORMES

Family

Bee-eaters (Meropidae)

Code 4

Non-AOU

Code 6

MERORN

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Rainbow Bee-eater has a large breeding range of 2,620,000 square kilometers. This species breeds in forest habitats of southern Australia and winters in northern Australia, New Guinea, and parts of Indonesia with occasional birds reaching Palau. Although the size of the global population is unknown, it is believed to be large and stable enough to warrant a conservation rating of Least Concern.

SUMMARY

Overview

Rainbow Bee-eater: Small, green bee-eater with turquoise-blue back, rump, and vent. Black mask. Orange crown, yellow-orange throat with black patch. Fairly long, black, rectangular tail with long, needle-like central tail feathers. Male had longer tail feathers. Juvenile lacks central tail feathers and is olive-gray with some yellow on throat.


Range and Habitat

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Rainbow Bee-eater SONGS AND CALLS

Rainbow Bee-eater MM1

Typical call is a rolling "prrreeep".

Rainbow Bee-eater MM2

Flight calls of a large flock flying at dusk.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"prrreeep", "dip-dip"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • Like other Bee-eaters, they are immune to bee stings.
  • The Rainbow Bee-eater was first described by British naturalist J. Latham in 1801.
  • These birds build very narrow nest tunnels and they have to squeeze tightly against the walls as they enter and exit. When they burrow in and out of their nests, their bodies act like pistons pumping fresh air into the nest and stale air out.
  • A group of bee-eaters is collectively known as a "colony" of bee-eaters.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP PALAU

About this Palau Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across the Palau islands.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Artist

Michael Oberhofer

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

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CrownX
The crown is the top part of the birds head.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
VentX
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X