Action aplenty

It’s looking like the Rainbow Bee-eaters may be about to fledge – yesterday evening there were at seemed to be least three individuals going in and out of the nest tunnel, with up to four individuals around the nest on one occasion. The frequency of visits was the highest I’ve witnessed, with at least 100 visits during an hour’s observing. Rainbow Bee-eaters are known to be breed cooperatively, with often one and up to six helpers at individual nests. All of the birds seen last night were adults and I’m wondering if the youngsters are even possibly being fed by other adults nearby that I’d assumed had a separate nest. Whatever the case, there were some spectacular sights on offer last night.

RBEE6

Rainbow Bee-eater, Newstead Cemetery, 11th January 2015.

RBEE3

II

RBEE1

III

RBEE5

IV

RBEE4

V

RBEE2

VI

Stay tuned for a more detailed post on cooperative breeding in Rainbow Bee-eaters.

3 responses to “Action aplenty

  1. Hello Geoff, great to hear that the bee-eaters seem to be about to fledge. I’m wondering if you have noticed any shifts in the population of this creature over the last couple of decades? They used to be common on my family’s place at Cootamundra (southern NSW), where they nested in the gullies, but they are rarely seen now. My father has been wondering why. Best wishes, and many thanks for your captivating blog. It is a treasure… George.

    • Hi George
      Many thanks for your note. I’m afraid my recollections are not that great. One of the motivations in starting my blog was to show some discipline in recording observations – sadly lacking in more than 40 years of birdwatching! The species has been using this site for many years, at least 50 to my knowledge. Local numbers at this and other sites seem to be stable over the past five or so years. Sorry to hear that they departed from Cootamundra – ironic that I actually sit under a Cootamundra Wattle at the Newstead Cemetery to watch them!
      All the best, geoff

  2. This week back in Alice I have heard the Bee Eaters again, very busy in the rain up here. They had been quiet for a while.

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