Guardian Nature School Team Contact Blog Project Noah Facebook Project Noah Twitter

A worldwide community photographing and learning about wildlife

Join Project Noah!
nature school apple icon

Project Noah Nature School visit nature school

Rainbow Bee-eater

Merops Ornatus


A striking, colourful bird, the Rainbow Bee-eater is medium sized, with a long slim curved bill and a long tail with distinctive tail-streamers. It has a golden crown and a red eye set in a wide black stripe from the base of the bill to the ears, which is edged with a thin blue line. The throat is orange-yellow, with a broad black band separating it from a green breast. The upperparts are green, with the flight feathers coppery and black tipped. The underwings are bright orange, with a black edge. The lower abdomen is blue. The tail is black, including the long tail streamers, with a blue tinge. Females have shorter, thicker tail streamers than males, but are otherwise similar. Young birds are duller and greener, lacking the black band on the chest and the long tail streamers.


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.


Distribution: 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 breed. Haven't posted a pic in a while! I'm pretty happy with these two pics.

Species ID Suggestions

Sign in to suggest organism ID


Christiane 11 years ago

Great photo...

Sergio Monteiro
Sergio Monteiro 11 years ago

I really like these birds!

Uncle Minty
Uncle Minty 11 years ago


Maria dB
Maria dB 11 years ago


VRRRock 11 years ago


Uncle Minty
Uncle Minty 11 years ago

Does anyone know of any good national parks around the Noosa area?

Uncle Minty
Spotted by
Uncle Minty

4573, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on May 7, 2012
Submitted on May 8, 2012

Related Spottings

Bee-eater Bee-eater Bee eater European_bee-eater

Nearby Spottings

Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo Dark flax lily Native iris Scented fan flower
Noah Guardians
Noah Sponsors
join Project Noah Team

Join the Project Noah Team