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The Regent Honeyeaters, How Do Birds Know Family, and The Greater Adjutant | WBW S2 EP05

Welcome back to another episode of The Weekly Bird Wrap by Neil Hermes where I recap some of the most amazing stories and facts about birds across the nation and from all over the world!

In this episode, I’ve got stories about regent honeyeaters, how birds recognize their family, and storks in India

If you missed episode 04, head over to this page.


The Critically Endangered Regent Honeyeaters and the Fight to Stop Them from Dying Out

Endangered Regent Honeyeaters scaled

The Regent Honeyeater is a medium-sized bird of beauty that has been driven almost to the brink of extinction by habitat destruction and fragmentation.

Another problem that adds to the extinction is the fact that its distinctive mating song is slowly being lost. Because of the decreasing number of birds to learn the song from, they’re mimicking the calls of other species they’re co-existing with. The female birds don’t respond well to these calls which leads to lower nest success.

In an effort to save the critically endangered species from extinction, nearly 60 captive-bred regent honeyeaters have been released in the Hunter Valley in Wonnarua country.

The people behind this effort are also trying a new technique – playing songs captured in the wild to birds bred in captivity.


Do Young Birds Recognize Their Parents?

Egg recognition

Credit: Credit A Katsis, Flinders University

Although the idea that birds can be influenced by sounds while in the egg remains a controversial one among scientists, a team of researchers conducted an experiment and found out that some birds learn to recognize calls while still in their eggs.


Saving the Tall, Dark and Handsome – The Greater Adjutant

The Greater Adjutant

Credit: By Yathin sk at English Wikipedia, CC BY 2.5,

From being condemned to love, the Greater Adjutant, a huge scavenging stork that was once widely distributed across India and Southeast Asia but is now mostly confined to the last stronghold in Assam, with small populations persisting in Cambodia’s northern plains region.

The key threats to the species are direct human persecution, particularly at nesting colonies; habitat destruction, including felling of nest trees; and drainage, conversion, pollution, and degradation of wetlands.

A new film by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s Center for Conservation Media documents the rarest stork on earth and discovers a conservation hero and her inspiring efforts to rally a community to save the Greater Adjutant.


Norfolk Island Tour on September 02-09, 2022

Join Us in Norfolk Island Tour

Loved my bird tour content? Well, Nothing beats being there on the spot, watching the birds!

Join me and my brother, Michael Hermes on a personalised journey through Norfolk Island’s history, amazing wildlife, and stunning scenery drawing on the knowledge and memories from my time as a Norfolk Island National Parks Officer and Michael’s background as an archaeologist working in places such as the Northern Territory, Tasmania, and Queensland. You can book through this page.

I am very excited to see you all on this tour!

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