Lo­cals asked to keep an eye out for Re­gent Honeyeaters

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - NEWS -

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 glen.john­son@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Peo­ple can also con­tact Dean Ing­w­ersen from Birdlife Aus­tralia on 1800 621 056 or dean.ing­w­ersen@birdlife.org.au.

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