Report sightings of birds
Have you seen a Regent Honeyeater in your travels out of Benalla recently?
If so, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning ( DELWP) and BirdLife Australia would love to hear from you.
DELWP natural environment program officer Glen Johnson is calling on all local nature enthusiasts to help.
‘‘We’re calling on members of the local community to keep an eye out for Regent Honeyeaters, and to report any sightings as soon as possible to Birdlife Australia or DELWP, Mr Johnson said.
In April last year, 101 captivebred birds were released into Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park.
The park is home to key box and ironbark tree species and is considered Victoria’s premier habitat for Regent Honeyeaters.
‘‘Dry conditions have resulted in poor flowering of Mugga Ironbark, which is usually a key nectar resource for Regents over autumn and winter,’’ Mr Johnson said.
‘‘The white box is now flowering well in some parts of the park, and across north-east Victoria and southern NSW, and we recently recorded at least four birds from the 2017 release feeding on white box blossom in Whorouly, 40 km south west of Chiltern.
‘‘As spring continues Regent Honeyeaters may venture further afield and chase nectar from flowering natives like spotted gum, bottlebrush and grevillea — or flowering remnant yellow box.
‘‘And now that the weather is getting warmer Regent Honeyeaters will also be taking a plunge into farm dams or drinking from bird baths, especially in native gardens with flowering plants.’’
Sightings of Regent Honeyeaters can be reported to Birdlife Australia’s honeyeater recovery coordinator Dean Ingwersen and Mr Johnson.
‘‘This is where the help of the local community becomes crucial, as you can help us document survival and Ingwersen said.
‘‘Keep binoculars handy and if possible take photos, to help with bird identification and to record colour band combinations on each leg.
‘‘It is fantastic captive-bred birds thrive in the wild.
‘‘We recently observed a bird from our 2015 release dipping into a dam in Killawarra and another 2017 released bird in a garden on the edge of the Warby Range, near Wangaratta.
‘‘And four years ago we also had a pair of birds from the 2013 release nest and produce fledglings in Hamilton Park, about 50 km west of Chiltern-Mt Pilot.
‘‘A bountiful grevillia superb shrub in a landholder’s backyard was their key source of food.
‘‘All released birds have unique colour bands on each leg, which enables individual identification.’’ breeding,’’ to see survive Mr the and