Rainbow Bee Eater


Merops ornatus     Meropidae

National: Listed as a Migratory species and a Marine species under the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act 1999.


The Rainbow Bee-Eater is a spectacular bird. With its green, blue, chestnut and yellow plumage, its slim build, slender curved bill and distinctive streamers that extend from the end of its tail, it is simply beautiful. Bee-Eaters are a familiar sight in many lightly-timbered parts of mainland Australia, where they often perch on fence-posts or overhead wires, then launch after flying insects, flying swiftly, sometimes with rapid twists and turns, before snapping the insect in its bill, and returning to the perch to eat it.


The Rainbow Bee-eater has, in the past, also been known as the Australian, Black-tailed or Pin-tailed Bee-eater; the Rainbow Bird, Rainbow-bird or Rain-bowbird; the Golden Merops or Golden Swallow; the Gold Digger or Gold Miner; the Pintail Sandpiper; or the Kingfisher, Pintail, Spinetail, Needlebeak or Berrin-berrin


The area of occupancy of the Rainbow Bee-eater in Australia has not been estimated. Trends in the area of occupancy have not been quantified, but records indicate that the distribution of the species (and, hence, the area of occupancy) has expanded in south-western Australia (Abbott et al. 1978; Storr & Johnstone 1988).

The number of locations that the Rainbow Bee-eater occurs in is unknown, and has not been estimated. The concept of discrete locations is difficult to apply to the Rainbow Bee-eater because of its widespread distribution and its ability to undertake long-distance movements



Rainbow Lorikeets are back on Russell Island



The Rainbow Lorikeet is unmistakable with its bright red beak and colourful plumage. Both sexes look alike, with a blue (mauve) head and belly, green wings, tail and back, and an orange/yellow breast. They are often seen in loud and fast-moving flocks, or in communal roosts at dusk.

The Rainbow Lorikeet mostly forages on the flowers of shrubs or trees to harvest nectar and pollen, but also eats fruits, seeds and some insects

Stone Curlews at Russell Island




Only a small number of Beach Stone Curlews exist south of Maryborough

Beach Stone-curlew

Did you know?

Beach Stone-Curlews feed mostly on crabs, hammering them open and sometimes washing them before swallowing.


A repeated, mournful, wailing ‘wee loo’, which is higher and harsher than that of the Bush Stone-curlew. When alarmed the Beach Stone-curlew may produce a ‘weal’ yapping sound.

Facts and Figures

Research Species:
Minimum Size:
Maximum Size:
Average size:
Average weight:
1 000g
Breeding season:
September to November
Clutch Size:
1 egg
30 days