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Bush for Birds

From the Bush to the Mountains - Threatened Species of the North East - Pt 2

In the second part of this webinar held on 22 September 2021, keynote speaker Dean Ingwersen from Birdlife Australia, outlines the status and conservation of the Regent honeyeater. Mark Cairns from North East CMA speaks about the Bush for Birds project, while Amelia Houghton from Trust for Nature gives details of the on-ground works and achievements of the Bush for Birds Project. (Video runs approximately 50 minutes)

Regent honeyeater fact sheet

Helping landowners help our endangered birds

Regent Honeyeaters (Anthochaera phrygia) and Swift Parrots (Lathamus discolor) are two of North East Victoria’s most endangered birds. Bush for Birds is a five-year project funded by the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program that aims to help landowners create and improve habitat to help these birds to thrive.

North East CMA is working together with Trust for Nature and other key partners to deliver this project, which will address the key threats for the species in North East Victoria. Success in recovery of these endangered birds, which  have been identified as priority species in the Australian Government’s Threatened Species Strategy Action Plan 2015-16,  will rely greatly on improved quality and quantity of woodland habitat.

Hear from those involved

Expressions of Interest for funding under Round 3 are now closed

North east Victorian landholders can apply for funding to create and improve habitat for Regent Honeyeaters and Swift Parrots, two nationally endangered birds.

Expressions of Interest for funding under Round 3 of the Bush for Birds project are now open until 10 September 2021.

The North East CMA is delivering this project in partnership with Trust for Nature.  So far, 65 private landholder sites across north east Victoria, covering more than 1800 ha, have already been supported to improve habitat through the Bush for Birds project. The project also aims to increase by 200 ha the area of land permanently protected for biodiversity by establishing in-perpetuity conservation covenants.

Bush for Birds is supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority (CMA) through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Expressions of Interest in the next round of grant funding opened on 9 August and will close on 10 September. Details on the types of sites that are eligible and the assessment criteria are available below. Please note that additional criteria apply to Round 3.

The full details

For further information call North East CMA project officer Phillip Falcke on 0429 400 411 or email phillip.falcke@necma.vic.gov.au

Listen to Phillip Falcke speak to EdgeFM about the Bush for Birds program 

Leonie and Peter Brien of Markwood (read full story click below)

Saving Victoria's most threatened birds - media release 15 June 2021


Meet the birds...


  Regent Honeyeater (Anthochaera phrygia)

Regent honeyeaters are a striking black and yellow bird that has a patchy distribution between south-east Queensland and central Victoria. It primarily occurs in box-ironbark woodland, but also occurs in other forest types. The species primarily feeds on nectar and, to a lesser extent, insects and their exudates (lerps and honeydew). It mainly feeds on nectar from eucalypts and mistletoes and it prefers taller and larger diameter trees for foraging.

Their movement through the landscape is guided by the flowering of select eucalypt species. It is nomadic and partly migratory, with some predictable seasonal movements observed. Breeding varies between regions and corresponds with flowering of key eucalypt and mistletoe species. Although breeding may occur at the same site between seasons, some pairs change breeding sites between seasons.

The Regent Honeyeater is listed as Critically Endangered by the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC 1999). Efforts to conserve the regent honeyeater will also benefit the brush-tailed phascogale, squirrel glider, bush stone-curlew, swift parrot and painted honeyeater which use the same woodland habitats.


Swift Parrot (Lathamus discolor)

This small parrot (only slightly bigger than a budgie) earned its name for its rapid, agile flight. Swift parrots are one of only three migrating parrot species in the world. They breed in Tasmania and fly across the Bass Strait in winter to feed on flowering plants across south-eastern Australia. The Swift Parrot is listed as Critically Endangered by the Australian Government's Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act (EPBC 1999). They are found in Tasmania and south-eastern mainland Australia. The main threats to their survival include predation by sugar gliders, habitat loss and collision mortality.   

Landscape-scale habitat restoration

The project area contains core Regent Honeyeater habitat within a number of National Parks and private land remnants and is one of four main breeding areas remaining in Australia for the species. Guided by the Regent Honeyeater Recovery Team, North East CMA will work with a range of partners including; DELWP, Trust For Nature, local landcare groups, Traditional Owners, Parks Victoria, Birdlife Australia and private landholders. The project will use revegetation, habitat augmentation (e.g. weed control, enhancement planting and thinning) and Noisy Miner control to address the key threatening processes impacting the species. These activities will also benefit the critically endangered Swift Parrot.

Trust for Nature, one of Australia’s oldest conservation organisations, is a not-for-profit organisation that relies on the generosity of supporters to help protect Victoria’s biodiversity.

Key Contacts

Mark Cairns, Senior Project Officer Biodiversity, North East CMA, mark.cairns@necma.vic.gov.au

Phill Falcke, Project Officer, North East CMA, phillip.falcke@necma.vic.gov.au

Will Ford, Trust for Nature willf@tfn.org.au

Telephone: 1300 216 513


This project is supported by the North East Catchment Management Authority and Trust for Nature, through funding from the Australian Government’s National Landcare Program.

Image Credit: Dean Ingwersen.

Regent Honeyeater Community Update

Do you want to learn more about the Regent Honeyeater? Have a listen to these podcasts

Regent Honeyeater Captive Release and Community Monitoring Project update

Click here for the latest update

There has been great news about a successful breeding event for the Regent Honeyeater in Greta West in NE Victoria.  Read all about it in the Captive Release & Community Monitoring Project - Update #41 - 4 Nov 2020.

If you've missed any of these updates or wish to catch up on the Community Program they can be accessed here