A critically endangered bird has been repeatedly spotted in Wangaratta gardens.
Wangaratta Landcare and Sustainability member Will Ford spotted the Regent Honeyeater outside his living room window and contacted photographer Chris Tzaros who manage to capture and image of the rare sighting.
"I couldn't believe it and I didn't think anyone else would either," Mr Ford said.
The pair contacted Birdlife Regent Honeyeater Recovery Coordinator Dean Ingwersen, and the coloured bands on the bird's leg allowed the trio to trace the bird and identify it as a male hatched in Taronga Zoo and released at Chiltern in April 2015.
"It's only the second out of all 287 birds released in Chiltern to have been recorded 6-plus years post-release, so it's a very significant finding," Mr Ford said.
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The trio are hoping the bird will be able to find a mate and breed in the local area. However with only 150 female birds estimated to be left in the wild, the odds are stacked against him.
"Regent Honeyeaters are certainly the underdogs of the bird world and they need our collective support to survive," Mr Ford said.
Mr Tzaros said there was a number of ways the community can support threatened species, including planting Yellow Gums and cultivating Callistemons, Banksias and Grevilleas.
Mr Ingwersen said residents should report any further sightings to BirdLife Australia on 1800 621 056.
"There are so few of these birds left that any information we can get on their activity is really helpful, particularly photos and details of colour bands," he said.
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