The critically endangered regent honeyeater has been spotted and photographed by a Springwood teenager.
McKinley Moens, 13, photographed the bird in her garden in late September.
“I have wanted to be an ornithologist since I was 7. I could not believe my eyes when I went to clean our 11 bird baths on Friday. I had my hand on the door handle to go outside and I paused to check for birds so that I didn’t scare any away,” she said.
“It was then that I caught sight of the regent honeyeater. I was frozen on the spot for a moment because I thought my eyes were playing tricks with me.”
Australia-wide, only about 200 to 500 regent honeyeaters remain.
Researchers from the Australian National University discovered 21 birds and seven nests in the Burragorang Valley late last year, publishing their findings in a report released last month.
Lead researcher Ross Crates confirmed the latest sighting in Springwood was a regent honeyeater.
He said it was “likely just a bird passing through on it's way to somewhere”.
Mr Crates said it was possible others may have been seen near Springwood, but most of these turn out to be other species.
McKinley’s sighting was recorded as part of the Blue Mountains Fauna Project, a joint partnership between the Blue Mountains Bushcare Network and Blue Mountains Council, with grant funding from the Greater Sydney Local Land Services.
Mayor Mark Greenhill said, “We are inviting members of the Blue Mountains community to observe and share their knowledge of local wildlife, just like McKinley has. The aim of the Fauna Project is to better understand what animal species are found in our bushland reserves, towns and villages.”
Join the Bushcare team for a fauna walk and talk on October 27 and 28 during National Bird Week to learn about the kind of birds in the Blue Mountains. There will be an opportunity to do bird walks and hear from a local ecologist and an opportunity to help make important equipment for conducting fauna project surveys.