A pair of captive-bred Regent Honeyeaters released in 2017 have stunned researchers after successfully fledging three young on private land near Chiltern.

Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) Natural Environment Programs Officer Glen Johnson said, “This is the most significant breeding success I have seen in 30 years of monitoring. Three successfully fledged birds from the one clutch is extremely rare.”

“Following on from this rare occasion, a wild female and captive-bred male from our 2017 release were recently spotted feeding one young fledgling on private property in Greta West. “The sighting was an extremely exciting event for the landholder who has revegetated habitat on their 900-hectare property for the Regent Honeyeater Project.

“It’s working - we’ve demonstrated that captive bred birds survive, not just in the short term but long term, can move incredible distances (100kms across the landscape) and can successfully breed and importantly add to the wild population.

“Regents live in the wild up to 11 years of age so surviving released birds leave a potentially long and positive legacy.”

Chris Timewell, BirdLife Australia’s Woodland Bird Project Coordinator, first sighted the Chiltern Regents while undertaking woodland bird surveys in early August.

“Regent Honeyeaters are one of Australia’s most critically endangered species, with only about 350 birds remaining. This region contains some of the birds’ most important habitats on both public and private land.

“The new fledglings are a testament to the collaborative efforts of many researchers, volunteers and organisations over multiple years.”

During the past five years more than 175 Regent Honeyeaters have been released in the Chiltern- Mount Pilot National Park as part of a partnership between DELWP, BirdLife Australia, Taronga Zoo, North East CMA, Parks Victoria and a range of community groups and volunteers.

As the days warm up Regent Honeyeaters are likely to venture onto private land where they can cool off in bird baths and feed on flowering native plants.

To report Regent Honeyeater sightings, contact DELWP on 136 186 or BirdLife Australia on 1800 621 056. Please note the unique colour leg band combinations if present and take photos if possible.

Page last updated: 05/11/20