A sharp-eyed birdwatcher has given hope to agencies and community groups working to save one of our region’s most at-risk birds.
The birdwatcher recorded two critically endangered regent honeyeaters feeding in flowering gums in Albury.
With fewer than 500 individuals thought to be in the wild, the sighting of the pair – a male and a female - has raised hopes they may breed here in Albury. One of the birds carried a leg tag, showing it was released for monitoring near Chiltern in 2017, while the other bird was full wild.
It has encouraged ecologists who hope it’s a sign that released birds are interacting, and hopefully breeding, with the few remaining birds in the wild.
As a nomadic species, regent honeyeaters play a very important role in helping to pollinate flowering trees and shrubs so their survival would have an important ecological effect on countless native plants and animals.
Although they were once common in the wild, loss of habitat, predation and competition from aggressive bird species like the noisy miner have decimated honeyeater numbers.
They usually breed in late winter or early spring, so the latest sighting is seen as especially encouraging.
Ecologists are encouraging residents to keep an eye out for regent honeyeaters and other endangered species like the swift parrot, and report any sightings to Birdlife Australia or our Environment team on 02 6023 8111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo credit: Neville Bartlett