I don’t really need any excuse for posting another story about two of my favourite subjects, the Yellow-footed Antechinus and the Rainbow Bee-eater – so here goes.
Over the past couple of weeks I’ve been observing a pair of Rainbow Bee-eaters nesting on the edge of the Sandon State Forest. A feature of all visits to the site has been watching Yellow-footed Antechinus hunting across the surrounding terrain. At times I’ve seen four different individuals simultaneously – with one twenty metres up, running upside down along a horizontal Grey Box branch, while another scampered over my feet as I sat quietly with the camera.
On the visit recorded below I watched the reaction of the bee-eaters as an antechinus ventured near the nesting tunnel. Both adults swooped the tiny dasyurid repeatedly until it retreated to a safer distance. I have witnessed this behaviour previously and suspect a common cause of breeding failure is predation of eggs and nestlings by antechinus.