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A Rainbow of Bee-eaters

An unforgettable sight!

At Mole National Wildlife Reserve in northern Ghana, wildlife abounds! An elephant breathes. An aardvark’s home is plainly visible. A Blue-breasted Kingfisher calls. Zakariah Wareh, a park ranger, says, “Watch the sky. You’re going to see something you will never forget.” Suddenly, an exquisite rainbow of carmine, copper, cerulean, and green, rises into the air as Red-throated Bee-eaters like this one emerge from burrows in a sandbank and take to the sky.
What have you seen on your travels? Please leave a comment below! Thanks!

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

A Rainbow of Bee-eaters 

Written by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!

[Drumming]

We’re in West Africa…northern Ghana...at Mole National Wildlife Reserve. 

The heat is intense… We’ve hiked down a steep embankment to a broad floodplain, me with my binoculars, and Zakariah Wareh, a park ranger, with his rifle. Soon, we’re pushing through a field of chest-high peppermint. Birds spring up around us like grasshoppers. 

We look for a clearing where we can cross a shallow stream. Then, through low trees, I hear an unmistakable sound …[elephant breathing]…

“Zak! There’s an elephant nearby.”

“Yes, Mum, I know. Don’t be afraid. I know that one. It’s a good one.”

My heart is pounding as we move downstream. [Blue-breasted Kingfisher] A Blue-breasted Kingfisher calls, yet my attention is drawn to a large hole at the base of a dead tree. “What lives there?” I ask. 

“An aardvark, Mum. Nothing to worry about. You wait here. I’m going around the bend in the stream. Watch the sky. You’re going to see something you will never forget.”

Zak disappears, and I’m on high alert.

Suddenly, an exquisite rainbow, of carmine, copper, cerulean, and green, rises into the air, [wing sounds] as flight after flight of Red-throated Bee-eaters emerge from burrows in a sandbank and take to the sky.

 [Drumming]

Special thanks to drummer Awal Alhassan. I’m Mary McCann, inviting you to share your birding adventures at birdnote.org. 

[Drumming]

                                                                               ###

Nature sounds provided by The Macaulay Library of Natural Sounds at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York. Elephant breathing and ambient from Radio Expeditions track 148482; call of the Blue-breasted Kingfisher [195203] recorded by L.R. Macaulay; wing sounds from a mixed flock (flying) of Rosy-finches recorded by T. Sanders [138292]. 

BirdNote's theme music was composed and played by Nancy Rumbel and John Kessler.

Producer: John Kessler

Executive Producer: Chris Peterson

© 2013 Tune In to Nature.org    April 2013   Narrator: Mary McCann

ID#             bee-eater-01-2013-04-15 bee-eater-01

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