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          By joining the biggest community of bird lovers in Australia, you can help us make a positive impact on the future of our native birdlife. The members of BirdLife Australia, along with our supporters and partners, have been powerful advocates for native birds and the conservation of their habitats since 1901.

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          Regent Honeyeater

          Anthochaera phrygia

          Although it is one of Australia’s most handsome honeyeaters, the Regent Honeyeater, named for its striking yellow-and-black plumage, once rejoiced in the name ‘Warty-faced Honeyeater’. Regent Honeyeaters were once regular visitors as far north as Rockhampton, west to the Riverina region of New South Wales, and south to the suburbs of Melbourne, but no more. Widespread clearance of their woodland habitat has seen their numbers decline and their range contract, and has encouraged more aggressive species of honeyeaters, such as Noisy Miners and Red Wattlebirds, to proliferate.

          To find out more about BirdLife Australia's work with the Regent Honeyeater, click here.



          The striking Regent Honeyeater has a black head, neck and upper breast, a lemon yellow back and breast scaled black, with the underparts grading into a white rump, black wings with conspicuous yellow patches, and a black tail edged 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. This species is gregarious, moving in flocks. It bobs its head when calling.

          Similar Species

          The Regent Honeyeater might be confused with the smaller (16 cm - 18 cm) black and white White-fronted Honeyeater, Phylidonyris albifrons, but should be readily distinguished by its warty, yellowish eye skin, its strongly scalloped, rather than streaked, patterning, especially on the back, and its yellow-edged, black tail.



          Formerly more widely distributed in south-eastern mainland Australia from Rockhampton, Queensland to Adelaide, South Australia, the Regent Honeyeater is now confined to Victoria and New South Wales, and is strongly associated with the western slopes of the Great Dividing Range.


          The Regent Honeyeater is found in eucalypt forests and woodlands, particularly in blossoming trees and mistletoe. It is also seen in orchards and urban gardens.



          The Regent Honeyeater feeds mainly on nectar and other plant sugars. It can also feed on insects and spiders, as well as native and cultivated fruits. It forages in flowers or foliage, but sometimes comes down to the ground to bathe in puddles or pools, and may also hawk for insects on the wing.


          The Regent Honeyeater breeds in individual pairs or, sometimes, in loose colonies, with the female incubating the eggs and both sexes feeding the young. The cup-shaped nest is thickly constructed from bark, lined with soft material, and is placed in a tree fork 1 m to 20 m from the ground.

          Conservation Status


          Critically endangered


          Critically endangered


          Not present






          Not present


          Critically endangered