Locals asked to keep an eye out for Regent Honeyeaters
THE Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and BirdLife Australia is keen to hear from anybody who has seen or heard a Regent Honeyeater recently.
North East Victoria is one of only three key breeding regions remaining for Regent Honeyeaters which are a striking and distinctive, medium-sized, black and yellow species with a sturdy, curved bill.
In April 2017, 101 captive bred birds were released into Chiltern Mt Pilot National Park which is home to key Box and Ironbark tree species, considered premier habitat for Regent Honeyeaters.
DELWP natural environment program officer Glen Johnson said dry conditions had resulted in poor flowering of mugga ironbark, which is usually a key nectar resource for Regents over autumn and winter.
“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, 40km south west of Chiltern,” Mr Murray said.
“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.”
“Also 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.”
Mr Murray said assistance from the community is crucial to help document survival and breeding rates.
“If people keep binoculars handy and if possible take photos they’ll be able to help with bird identification,” he said.
“All released birds have unique colour bands on each leg, which enables individual identification.”
Sightings of Regent Honeyeaters can be reported to Glen Johnson on 0418 501 936 or email@example.com.
People can also contact Dean Ingwersen from Birdlife Australia on 1800 621 056 or firstname.lastname@example.org.