If you live in eastern Australia, chances are you're pretty familiar with the Noisy Miner. These birds can be raucous neighbours, but also helpful in your garden if they're given the chance.
You don't have to go far to find this backyard buddy. In fact, if you live in a suburban area, there's every chance that you have some outside right now. Noisy Miners live in northern Queensland and all along the eastern coast to South Australia and Tasmania.
Noisy Miners, Manorina melanocephala, are Australian native birds but they are being overtaken by the introduced Common or Indian Myna which is an aggressive bird that competes with Australian native birds for nesting sites and preys on eggs and chicks.
They have a very loud call that sounds like a repetitive 'pwee, pwee, pwee'. When they want to warn other birds about possible dangers, their calls become even louder and higher pitched, creating quite a ruckus. While sometimes annoying for us, these guys are great little communicators and can quickly convey important information to the whole group.
Noisy Miners have big appetites and will eat all sorts of food. While they are technically a type of honeyeater and love to eat nectar, they will also eat insects, frogs, lizards, seeds, fruit, and just about anything else. Their ability to eat so many different food sources may explain why they like living close to us in built up areas.
While the Noisy Miner can be a nuisance, they can also be a helper in the garden. These guys love to eat the little bugs and insects that get up to no good in your veggie garden.Miners can show a lot of aggression towards other birds and will often try to chase them away. They also go after possums, hunting them out of tree hollows. You may even see miners mobbing pet cats by calling loudly and swooping them in groups.
Noisy Miners prefer open spaces and tall trees. Since Noisy Miners love wide-open spaces, the more densely vegetated your backyard, the less likely they
are to claim the space for themselves. This gives other animals a chance to thrive in your backyard too.
Spiky bushes are great for deterring Miners and other aggressive birds and animals, while sheltering little buddies.
As Noisy Miners breed year-round, there are always chicks which are just as noisy as their parents. They often demand food from any members of the Miner group that they see. They breed in large colonies and other birds will often feed and care for the chicks - most of these carers are male.
Noisy Miners are often confused with the Common or Indian Myna. The Noisy Miner is predominantly grey, and is a native to Australia. The Common Myna is a brown bird of about the same size, with a black head, and is an introduced species. Increasing the amount of dense understory plantings in your backyard will discourage both kinds of these noisy birds and provide better habitat for smaller native birds.
Did you know?
The Noisy Miner is a very communal, family orientated bird. The parents take turns rearing the chicks and very unusually, they get a lot of help from other males in their group. The chicks are given a lot of attention by their families, sometimes getting up to 50 visits to the nest in one hour.
What bird is that? Many birds look similar and can be hard to tell apart from a distance. Black and white birds are some of the most commonly seen in our backyards. Pied Butcherbird The Pied Butcherbird has a beautiful, musical call that sounds like loud, clear notes from a flute. T..
The Eastern Koel is a common buddy in many backyards in cities and towns across eastern and northern Australia. Traditionally inhabiting woodlands and rainforests, they're also comfortable in urban places, particularly where there are tall trees to hide in and lots of fruiting plants. K..
Laughing Kookaburras have a complex social structure and communicate with a wide variety of sounds. Their distinctive “laugh” is actually warning other kookaburras to stay out of their territory. To let other kookaburras know where their home territory is, a family group will laugh througho..
Masked Lapwings are a common visitor to grassy and wet areas of our cities and towns. They love to nest on the ground in parks, school ovals, golf courses, sports fields, and pastures. Masked Lapwings breed after wet weather, in summer and autumn in northern Australia and during winter t..
The Noisy Miner is a common buddy in many backyards in cities and towns across eastern Australia. Their noisy call can be a nuisance but there are lots of ways to manage them and enjoy their helpful behaviours. Traditionally inhabiting open woodlands, they're also comfortable in urban places..
Growing up to 51 cm, Pied Currawongs are impossible to miss. Their jet black feathers are a striking contrast to their bright yellow eyes. Pied Currawongs also have splotches of white on their tail, undertail and wing tips, which are revealed when they fly. These birds have a cheeky stre..
Rainbow lorikeets tend to roost in large groups and can be seen just on dusk arriving by the hundreds at their favourite roosting place, usually in tall eucalypts. These colourful birds can be seen almost anywhere along the east coast of Australia. Their behaviour is quite comical at times, ..