Species information

Regent Honeyeater’s are a medium sized honeyeater. They are quite distinctive, with a black head, neck and upper breast, while their back and breast is yellow with black scaling. Males have yellowish bare skin under their eye. Females are smaller and have less black on their throat.

They were once found along the east coast from Brisbane to Adelaide but are now only found in remnant populations across Victoria and NSW. They are strongly associated with the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range. These birds will eat insects, spiders and fruit but their main source of food is nectar, and through this they act as a pollinator for many flowering plants.

The Regent Honeyeater is a highly mobile species, following flowering eucalypts through box iron bark open-forest and woodland areas. Their breeding events correspond with flowering of food sources.

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Threats

Regent Honeyeater populations have declined since the mid twentieth century, this has been attributed predominantly to habitat loss, fragmentation and degradation.

What's being done?

Regent Honeyeater conservation is contributed greatly to through the work of volunteers and communities, along with the efforts of Zoos Victoria and the Taronga Conservation Society, who run captive breeding and release programs.

As part of the 2017 Regent Honeyeater Captive Release and Community Monitoring Project, 101 captive bred Regent Honeyeaters were released; the fifth and largest release to date. Over 180 birds have been released previously (2008, 2010, 2013 and 2015). The project aims to supplement the north-east Victoria and southern NSW populations, and to increase community awareness and participation in the Regent’s conservation program.

Efforts to save the species are being supported by a $200,000 grant through the Victorian Government’s Biodiversity On-Ground Action Icon Species Grants program, which funds targeted actions designed to protect and conserve Victoria’s threatened species

This funding is being used to;

  • Support volunteers to document the survival, movements and breeding of captive-bred released birds and their interactions with wild born birds
  • Radio track birds fitted with transmitters
  • Determine the presence/absence of birds using call play back
  • Provide the community with regular updates of monitoring results

Please report any Regent Honeyeater sightings to BirdLife Australia on 1800 621 056 or contact Glen Johnson at Glen.Johnson@delwp.vic.gov.au.

Please make sure you include the location, date, time, leg band colour combinations (if present) and photographs (where possible).

You can keep up to date with bird sightings from the Regent Honeyeater Captive Release Program through SWIFT

Who's helping?

Conserving Victoria's threatened species requires a collaborative approach. There are a number of organisations and groups working to protect Regent Honeyeaters. These include:

Birdlife Australia

Goulburn Broken Catchment Management Authority

La Trobe University

Monash University

Northeast Catchment Management Authority

Parks Victoria

Regent Honeyeater Project

Taronga Conservation Society

Trust for Nature

Zoos Victoria

Page last updated: 06/09/19