|Rainbow Bee-eater, Centenary Lakes, Cairns, Australia|
At first glance, the bee-eater is like a gorgeous piece of jewelry, a decorative folly of iridescence and tail streamers. But to an insect, it's a killing machine. Beneath all that finery is a nervous system wired to hunt. This bird sat on its perch in a state of complete alertness, scanning for any movement, and it almost never missed its target, many metres away in midair and invisible to my weak human eyes.
I love this bird's name. Rainbow Bee-eater, Rainbow Bee-eater, Rainbow Bee-eater. So improbable sounding. Yet for once, this bird has a name that actually makes sense (shock!) as it does eat bees. It eats wasps, too. It rubs them against branches to get rid of the stingers and venom glands.