Friday, September 5, 2008

Migration of the Bee Eaters

The top of Australia is a birdwatchers paradise. Being in the tropics and so close to Papua New Guinea, it has a large number of unique and endemic birds. Crab Island has a variety of habitats and we see many different types of birds, many rare. One of the more common birds we see is the rainbow bee-eater, one of the most colourful birds in the bird world. We delight in watching their acrobatics as they catch insects in flight along the beach.

Yesterday, whilst at the southern end of the island we could hear a deafening chatter. We then saw a huge flock of rainbow bee-eaters heading towards the mainland. This was followed by another and another.... This went on all afternoon, thousands of bee-eaters heading south.

It is spring here in Australia and rainbow bee-eaters migrate south from New Guinea to breed. In summer they are seen in southern Australia. We are probably seeing the first of those birds as they begin their migration south….

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