Regents Flown the Coop

Regents Flown the Coop

Just this week we heard news that a third zoo-bred Regent Honeyeaters has been spotted alive and well following another sighting in early June by a land-holder at Holbrook NSW.It’s now over 15 months since we released these almost-extinct birds back to their Ironbark Forest habitat at

Chiltern, in Victoria, as part of the

recovery program. The second bird had flown over 100

kilometres to Holbrook while the other two are still being recorded in Chiltern.

This is excellent news for us Bird Keepers as so much

effort, both physical and emotional, has gone in to this conservation breeding


When the program started many years ago, we were just

hopeful that we’d be able to keep them in the Zoo to learn more about them, but

then we were successfully able to breed them and the program has evolved again so we can release them back into the wild.

It’s gone from

strength-to-strength as these two sightings now show us that we have the

potential to breed them here at Taronga Zoo and return

these wild-caught-ancestors to boost wild populations.

A team of us at the Zoo also worked really hard to restore

habitat for the Regent too. It will be a good 20 plus years before these trees

will be mature enough to provide blossom for the Regents, and you have moments of doubt where you wonder if they’ll still be around then to make use of this

future habitat, but these sightings really are proof that we are making a


- Michael, Bird Keeper