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Taronga Western Plains Zoo Celebrates Regent Honeyeater Breeding Success

Posted By : The Animal Facts Editorial Team

Date: November 5, 2020 2:55 pm

regent honeyeater chicks Taronga

Regent honeyeater chicks at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo Credit: Sebastian Bocaz/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo, Australia has celebrated a major success in their regent honeyeater breeding program. All six of their breeding pairs have hatched chicks this breeding season.


This is the first season regent honeyeaters have been bred at Taronga Western Plains Zoo.


The six pairs have so far produced 23 chicks. Some of the pairs are now hatching a second or third clutch for the season.


“Having all six pairs breed this year is an amazing achievement and to see the pairs now on to their second or third clutches is such a great result,” said Regent Honeyeater Keeper, Kara Stevens.

regent honeyeater chicks Taronga
regent honeyeater chicks Taronga

Regent honeyeater chicks at Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Photo Credit: Sebastian Bocaz/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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“We couldn’t be happier with our first breeding season here in Dubbo, it has been extremely successful which the team are all thrilled about,” added Kara.


Regent honeyeaters will breed from July until January. Each pair may have up to 3 clutches each breeding season with generally two of these being successful.


One chicks are fledged they will be moved to a crèche aviary. Here they can grow and learn the skills they will need as an adult honeyeater.


During the move to this aviary each chick is caught and weighed. They are also given a leg band to help with identification.


“Each chick will have a leg band attached that is the same colour as their mother, so that we know who each chick belongs to and then a second different colour so they can be identified individually from the other chicks,” said Kara.

regent honeyeater chicks Taronga
regent honeyeater chicks Taronga

Left: An adult regent honeyeater Right: A honeyeater chick

Photo Credit: Sebastian Bocaz/ Taronga Western Plains Zoo

Regent honeyeaters are a small bird that was once widespread across Australia but their range has now been reduced to small numbers in Victoria and Queensland.

“There is estimated to be 350 Regent Honeyeaters remaining in the wild, so these chicks are vital to help bolster the zoo-based insurance population for this critically endangered species, and may one day be released into the wild,” said Kara.

At Taronga Western Plains Zoos sister zoo, Taronga Zoo Sydney they are also breeding regent honeyeaters. They have celebrated the fledging of ten chicks with two still in the nest. Further breeding is also occurring there so it is hoped more will hatch soon.

Learn more about Taronga Western Plains Zoo here – Taronga Western Plains Zoo

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