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26 Sep 2008

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It’s Spring Fever for released Regent Honeyeaters (26 Sep 2008)

Update From The Field (6 June 2008)

Regent Honeyeater breeding program soars (8 May 2008)

At least one pair of zoo-bred Regent Honeyeaters are incubating eggs, with at least four other nests being built by other pairs just four months since they were released at Chiltern in Victoria.

There have also been several positive interactions between wild and ex-Zoo Regent Honeyeaters which may lead to mixed pairs forming this coming breeding season, hopefully leading to chicks.

It has been over four months since the first zoo-bred Regent Honeyeaters took flight in their new home in the Ironbark woodlands around Chiltern,.. 

The National Recovery program is proving to be a great success.  Within the first few days of release in May, reports from the field were promising.  The Regent Honeyeaters immediately began settling into their new home as they dispersed throughout the woodlands foraging for nectar and insects to eat.

At the first sign of circling birds of prey, alarm calls were sounded and responded to by the Regent Honeyeaters just as though they were wild-bred.  They also fiercely defended their newly established territories from other potentially aggressive honeyeater species, showing how smooth their transition to life in the wild was. 

Having survived near freezing temperatures, rain and declining flower numbers throughout the colder months, they have beaten all the odds with at least 80% of all released birds still being seen by field staff on a regular basis.

At least seven pairs have formed pair bonds in the lead up to breeding season, with the latest field report delivering the most promising news of all. 

With only 1500 Regent Honeyeaters left in the wild, these reportings have been the best news we could have possibly hoped for.  Taronga Zoo and other National Recovery program participants  are looking forward to more news of newly hatched chicks followed by successfully reared young fledglings leaving their nest for the first time.

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