Re: birding-aus Regent in the honeyeater

To: "J.Reside" <>
Subject: Re: birding-aus Regent in the honeyeater
From: Brian Fleming <>
Date: Fri, 24 Sep 1999 09:23:37 +1000
.. we were wondering how the term "regent" came to describe the
> honeyeater, bowerbird and parrot.  Is there a connection between the
> yellow and black?
> > Thanks,
> Jenny Reside
Dear Jenny,
Three cheers for Albury's ironbarks! 
The original 'Regent Bird', described by the artists and collectors of
the First Fleet and later settlers in the Sydney Settlement, was the
Regent Bowerbird. The name derives from the contemporary uniform worn by
a Regent on official occasions (though I dont know if the Prince Regent
ever did). The other theory was that the name was given as a compliment
to the Prince Regent, because of the bird's splendid appearance.   
   The Regent Honeyeater, another early bird in Sydney, was originally
known as the 'False Regent-Bird'. The Regent Parrot was I think first
collected and described by Major Mitchell, in his trek across western
NSW and what is now western Victoria - its colour-scheme made the name
almost inevitable.
  Another bird named for an official is the North American Prothonotary
Warbler which I think is also black and yellow - I believe it's named
after someone in the Vatican's hierarchy.  At least Regent is easier to
 Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
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