1000 Words About … the Mating Season!

Rainbow Bee-eater fights the cold in Southern Australia

Rainbow Bee-eater fights the cold in Southern Australia

Caught out by unseasonal – and unaccustomed – cold, this Rainbow Bee-eater family turned up in our backyard on a freezing spring morning in October.

Huddling together to maximise the rays of the rising sun – and their body heat – the row of seven little jewel-like birds (count the beaks!) looked far less comfortable than when we’d seen them in Northern Australia a couple of months beforehand.

We generally know its getting warmer when the bee-eaters appear.

Although, we have also been known to be able to tell it’s getting warmer when the temperature rises!

Just sayin’!

But I digress …

Australia’s only bee-eater, this spectacularly colourful bird – arguably one of Australia’s most photographed – migrates south to breed once the weather starts warming up at the start of the Southern Hemisphere spring (September to November).

Rainbow Bee-eater, Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia

Rainbow Bee-eater, Roebuck Bay, Broome, Western Australia

After a summer of love down south, they return to the warmer northern climate at the start of autumn in March or April to escape the southern Australian winter cold.

Where we’re often lucky enough to spot them during OUR northern migration!

Also to escape the winter cold … along with many thousands of other winter migrants including vast numbers of the Southern Grey Nomad!

But while we’re joining them in escaping the winter cold, I’m not so sure about the mating season …

For more wild birds – Australian or otherwise – visit Wild Bird Wednesday, hosted by Stewart on his blog Paying Ready Attention – Photo Gallery.

And for more amazing tales of birding in locations around Australia, why not click on one of the blog post thumbnails below this post?

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43 comments

  • Gosh – those birds are delightfully pretty!

  • @NatureFootstep – They are even brighter in Northern Australia, if you can believe that!
    @Dave – It was a once-in-a-lifetime moment!! SO lucky!!
    @Jana – Well, I’ve never had a White Christmas! So glad you enjoyed my photos – but it’s MUCH better visiting in person! Hope you get to make it again one day!

  • a big WOWWW, the pictures are amazing! thanks for sharing…I love down under! happy that you have summer, we got the first snow already, snif…

  • Ohhhhh wow, just love the first image, very special to see, never mind capturing the image so well

  • they are gorgeous little birds. And you are lucky to have tehm. Bit it is too bad they are feeling cold. Nice shots.

  • @Rohrerbot – Thank you!! Sadly, my ‘flight’ shots are non-existent, but they look even better with the sun through the ‘rainbow’ colours on their wings!
    @Kath – What was I thinking? Of course OZ’ most photo’d bird would be the kookaburra or the emu!!!!
    @Friko – Hahaha!
    @EG CameraGirl – Yeah, nothing gets past me!!!
    @diane b – They’re often mistaken for kingfishers. But they’d be up your way somewhere …

  • @TexWisGirl – They are even better in flight when the sun (but not my camera) catches their wings!
    @Are We There Yet – Congratulations, I hope you enjoy your prize! Glad u liked the bird!
    @MJWC – It’s my pleasure. Hope it’s yours too!
    @Iris – I like to think I’m funny too :)!! You can order the calendar direct from my CafePress shop – they ship all over the world! And you’re right – Spouse would LOVE it!!
    @Island Rambles – Sometimes you’re lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time!

  • @Mick – Haven’t seen them like that before – or since!
    @Hanne Bente – Thank you so much! So glad you enjoyed it!
    @Pam 🙂 – We were SOOOOOO lucky! But you should see the OTHER 200 shots!!
    @Pia – Thank you! I enjoyed sharing this amazing experience!! And now we are entering summer 🙁
    @Carletta – One of my other pictures shows them all – but this one has more interest with the male at the head of the queue!
    @Larry – Well, if you play your cards right, you’ll be able to see 7 all at once!!
    @Steve B – Thank you! But you should see the ones that got away …

  • That is one fabulous shot of the birds all together, I have never seen these birds. They are so pretty.

  • Such pretty birds. How observant of you to know that it’s getting warmer when the temperature rises. :))

  • Gorgeous little critters.
    Happy Mating!

  • That first shot of the bee eaters rocks!!! How beautiful! Someday, I look forward to seeing these beautiful birds in person:)

  • You may say that they’re arguably Australia’s most photographed birds, but I’m terribly ashamed to say that I’d never heard of them!

    (slinks off in embarrassment)….

  • Incredible!! Amazing photo and even more amazing little birds, so colorful. There are so many of them lined up there.Perfect.

  • … hehe, when the temp rises, yips, getting warmer then, LOL. You´re funny 🙂
    We´ll have to wait at least three months for this.

    Those birds are just gorgeous!

    Do you sell your loo-calendars also overseas? Would be a great gift for Spouse – in September. Did I ask this already???
    The cold makes my brain numb…

    Congrats to the winner, I have a beautiful (Australian) “children´s”-book with that title, so cute and so my life, too, for a while twice in real life, whenever I want in my memories.

    Traveling, what better way to live your life, huh?

  • Whooo Hooo…. I am so excited I won. Thank you so much Red. I can’t wait to get it. I will let you know and I hope to get a post about it on my blog.

    You have some sweet birds in Australia. Most of which I have never seen. Great Pictures as always.

  • my goodness, they are beautiful!

  • Gorgeous shots of the Rainbow Bee-eater Red! I am still dying to see a Bee-eater at some point in my life. It’s on my bucket list!

  • They all posed perfectly. Well, except for the one who ducked his head. 🙂
    Colorful little birds.
    Great shot!

  • Wow, they are so sweet and so cute when they are sitting so close to each other! Great photos! We don’t have this birds here in Sweden, where we soon are having our Winter season.
    Thanks for your nice comment! Greetings Pia

  • My Journey With Candida

    I wanted to stop over from my other blog to google + this and also tweet it and fb.

    Thanks again Red, can’t wait to get it. I will put it on this blog since I get a lot more action on it.

  • Wow! Amazing photo. I’ve never seen Bee eaters huddling like that.

  • As in Eats Bees??? My dog tried that once. Didn’t go so well.

  • This is without a doubt, the most amazing shot of Rainbow Beeeaters I ever seen. They certainly are beauties.

  • WAU – where a great picture you show.
    Thanks for the comment on my blog 🙂
    Hanne Bente

  • Sad not to win haha But congrats Terri!

  • @TMWH – They’re even more spectacular swooping and darting with the sun shining through their wings. That’s where the ‘rainbow’ bit comes from!
    @SFlaGuy – Hahaha … but yes, that’s exactly where the name comes from! We’re not exactly imaginative with naming conventions downunder!!!
    @Jayne – What can I do but agree?!?!
    @Rajesh – You must have something similar in India??

  • @Aleah – Commiserations … but there’s always one from the shop to console yourself with!
    @River – This is what you’ve got to look forward to in retirement – although these ones were only a few short km away from you (in One Tree Hill)
    @Wally Jones – Well, come on down and see them! They’re fairly widespread – although I can’t guarantee a family group like this!

  • @Stewart – Haha, you should see the other 75 pix!!!
    @Neil – Thanx!
    @Tracey – HAhaha!! You give great comment!!
    @Andrew – Never seen such a thing before!!
    @Fun60 – Maybe you’re right! It started out with one or two – then suddenly there were 7!

  • Gorgeous and colorful birds.

  • What a gorgeous little bird!

  • Bee-eaters? What colorful birds! I’ll bet they are fun to watch, as well as photograph. I am off to go look up more about these birds!

  • A really nice family portrait! As Stewart M. knows, I’m jealous of your Bee-eaters! Very nice post.

  • I’ve never even heard of these, much less seen one. They’re beautiful.

    Congratulations Terri!
    and now I’m hopping on over to see Steve’s wild birds.

  • What a great shot of them all in a line. They look as though they are waiting to be checked over for something. Who’s got the shiniest beak competition maybe!

  • WOW, what a cool sight to see. Love the shot of the bee-eaters all lined up in a row. They are beautiful birds.

  • Don’t they look great, all line up.

  • So now I know all about the birds and the bees ; ) Lovely shot.

  • What a great set of pictures – I love bee-eaters!

    I dont think my Francolin was drab either.

    Cheers and thanks for linking to WBW – Stewart M – Melbourne

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