A captive-bred Regent Honeyeater released in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park in early 2015 has recently returned home after completing a record breaking 540km round trip journey to Gippsland.

Identified by his unique combination coloured leg bands, ‘Yellow Yellow’ was released in April 2015, and recorded 270 kilometres away in Outtrim, South Gippsland, in November 2016.

A volunteer member of the Community Monitoring project recently identified Yellow Yellow back within the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, with Yellow Yellow observed actively courting female Regent Honeyeaters from the most recent April 2017 release.

"Yellow Yellow's return is fantastic in so many ways. It marks the fourth bird from the 2015 release that we've recently recorded back in the park.” Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning’s (DELWP) Senior Biodiversity Officer, Glen Johnson, said.

“Yellow Yellow's journey demonstrates the potential for many more past released birds to be out there waiting to be identified. We'd greatly appreciate everyone keeping their eyes and ears open as birds move out of the Park into surrounding private land as we come into the warmer Spring season,” Mr Johnson said.

“This 540-kilometre journey sets a new benchmark for the longest confirmed distance travelled by a release bird,” BirdLife Australia’s Regent Honeyeater Recovery Co-ordinator Dean Ingwersen said.

Regent Honeyeaters will readily feast on nectar from flowering garden natives such as Grevillea cultivars and Bottlebrush.

The Regent Honeyeater is listed as threatened under the Flora and Fauna Guarantee (FFG) Act. The community can report Regent Honeyeaters sightings to BirdLife Australia on 1800 621 056 with details including location, date, time and colour leg band combinations (if present), and include photographs (where possible) and your details.

Members of the community wishing to be involved with the Community Monitoring Project in Chiltern can contact Liz Wemyss, Biodiversity Officer, DELWP via  Elizabeth.Wemyss@dewlwp.vic.gov.au or on 0477 312 592.

Follow up enquiries can be directed towards Glen Johnson (DELWP) on 0418 501 936 or Dean Ingwersen (BirdLife Australia) on 0409 348 553.

The 2017 Regent Honeyeater Captive Release and Community Monitoring Project is collaboratively funded by the DELWP/Victorian Government Icon Threatened Species Project, Birdlife Australia, NSW Government’s Environment Trust, Taronga Conservation Society and the NECMA via the Australian Government’s National Landcare Programme.

The release program is a component of the recovery work being undertaken by the national Regent Honeyeater Recovery Team.Regent Honeyeater - Photo by Dean Ingwersen