The Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeater has become a flagship species for conservation issues in the box-ironbark forest region of Victoria and New South Wales. They are found in eucalypt forests and woodlands, particularly in blossoming trees and mistletoe. It is also seen in orchards and urban gardens. The Regent Honeyeater has striking black and yellow plumage and is very distinctive from other honeyeaters.
The Regent Honeyeater has a black head, neck and upper breast. It has a lemon-yellow back and its breast is scaled black. The underparts grade into a white rump. It has black wings with conspicuous yellow patches, and a black tail edged with yellow. In males, the dark eye is surrounded by yellowish-warty bare skin. Females are smaller, with a bare yellowish patch under the eye only, and have less black on the throat. Young birds resemble females, but are browner and have a paler bill. Their average size is 22 cm.
Quiet, melodious calls; can mimic larger honeyeaters such as wattlebirds and friarbirds. Bird call recorded by: Fred Van Gessel.
The Regent Honeyeater was once found from Rockhampton to Adelaide, but is now confined to Victoria and New South Wales, on the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range.
The Regent Honeyeater is found in eucalypt forests and woodlands. It can be seen in blossoming trees and mistletoe and sometimes in orchards and urban gardens.
Plants associated with this species:
The Regent honeyeater forages in flowers or foliage, but sometimes comes down to the ground to bathe in puddles or pools. They are strongly nomadic, following blossoming trees.
The Regent Honeyeater feeds mainly on nectar and other plant sugars. They can also feed on insects and spiders, as well as native and cultivated fruits.
The Regent Honeyeater breeds in pairs or, sometimes, in loose colonies, with the female incubating 2–3 eggs and both sexes feeding the young. The breeding season is from August to January. The cup-shaped nest is thickly constructed from bark, lined with soft material, and is placed in a tree fork 1–20 m from the ground.