Bird watchers from around the world are helping to spot threatened Regent Honeyeaters in the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.
The "twitchers" are volunteering their time as part of the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning's (DELWP) Regent Honeyeater recovery project.
"One year on from the last release of captive-bred Regent Honeyeaters into Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park and already four early returnees out of the 77 birds released in 2015 have been sighted," DELWP Senior Biodiversity Officer, Glen Johnson said.
"A visiting birder from the United Kingdom spent four days on the lookout to spot one of these beautiful birds, and another South Australian birder photographed one late last month," Mr Johnson said.
Bird watchers are being urged to take part in this month's National Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot Survey Weekend and will likely witness the return of more colour banded Regents from the 2015, 2013 and 2010 releases interacting with wild birds. The released birds were bred and reared in captivity by Taronga Zoo to supplement the north east Victoria and southern New South Wales wild population.
"Both wild and released Regent Honeyeaters are returning to feed on the flowering Box Ironbark forests and have also been spotted in backyard bird baths at West Albury, Allan's Flat and Chiltern," Mr Johnson said.
"These 'sweet beaks' are a Threatened species, and we're keen for any sightings to be reported to BirdLife Australia on 1800 621 056 with details including location, date, time, colour leg band combinations if present and your details. We're also keen for people to keep their eyes peeled in their backyards whether you have a flowering patch of bush or a bird bath amid a native bush garden. Photographic evidence is gold – so keep both a camera and pair of binoculars handy."
If you would like to get involved in the National Regent Honeyeater and Swift Parrot Survey Weekend on 14 May in Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest.
The Regent Honeyeater captive-release project is funded by the Victorian Government and the Australian Government's National Landcare Programme, with support from North East Catchment Management Authority.
The draft Protecting Victoria's Environment - Biodiversity 2036 is currently open for public comment. It aims to stop the decline of our native plants and animals, and ensure that all Victorians can enjoy the benefits of a healthy natural environment now and into the future. Submissions can be made at www.haveyoursay.delwp.vic.gov.au and close at midnight on 15 May 2016.
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