do noisy miners kill other birds

“George Street Reserve has an interesting and varied bird population. White-browed Scrubwrens, Brown Thornbills, and numerous nesting Spotted Pardalotes are among the resident birds; however, the most notable aspect is the year-round presence of Yellow Robins. Golden Whistlers, Grey Shrike thrushes, and Eastern Spinebills bring with them a large increase in both number and variety of birds during the autumn and winter seasons in this reserve. The latter fed on the correa. Shining Bronze-Cuckoos may fly through in the spring, but Pink Robins and Fuscious Honeyeaters are uncommon winter visitors. 1994 saw the recording of both the Barn Owl and the Laughing Kookaburra. ”.

Culling is not a solution that is easily accessible, nor is it always effective when used. All native wildlife is protected in Victoria. Although they are difficult to obtain, culling permits can only be obtained after all other options have been exhausted. If the area’s vegetation structure isn’t changed and proper management is implemented, the birds will probably relocate from a nearby park or reserve.

Westgate Park and Royal Park are two of Melbourne’s bird hotspots according to eBird, the global platform for citizen science birding. There were just two noisy miners in Westgate Park during the most recent March bird survey. Elsternwick Park Nature Reserve is undergoing extensive planning and thought in order to become a secure and hospitable location for small birds.

Not cats. Not dogs or foxes. The biggest threat to small birds is not habitat loss or fragmentation, but rather noisy miners.

Michael Clarke, a professor of zoology at La Trobe University, George Paras, an ecological restorationist, Ian Temby, a specialist in human-wildlife conflict resolution, Gio Fitzpatrick, a naturalist, Jacinta Humphrey, a PhD candidate, and Rob Youl, a landcarer, were all contributors to the Noisy Miner workshop, which took place at Elsternwick Park on March 30. The recording will be available online soon.

The Noisy Miner: A Friend not a Pest?

Ralph Pridmore, a member of STEP, talks about his interactions with his local feathered friends.

Jill Green wrote a fantastic article titled “A Threatening Species – The Noisy Miner” in STEP Matters 179 (pages 6–7). In its aggressive defense of their territory against other birds as well as bats, cats, koalas, and cows (! ), it accurately described the noisy miner as a threatening species. It also mentioned that they are listed as a Key Threatening Process under two government acts. They sound dangerous, Streuth, but let me say a few things in their favor.

About a dozen Indian mynas were nesting here and up to about 40 meters into Twin Creeks Reserve in Turramurra during the 1980s and 1990s, when we were neighbors. The World Conservation Union has included the exotic Indian myna on its list of the 100 Worst Invasive Species in the World. It should not be mistaken for the native Australian noisy miner, which I personally like for its cheeky habits and fearless attitude toward larger birds.

In contrast, the Indian myna is a city dweller who prefers the stench, noise, and trash of the city to the wilderness. In Australia, feral Indian mynas are protected from cruelty by law, but they can also be destroyed legally. Known by another name, “flying rats,” they aggressively scare away most other birds, but not the noisy miner!

Indian mynas in pairs or alone would be harassed by boisterous groups of miners, who would chase them away and from tree to tree. Yes, noisy miners, also known as “soldier birds,” also harass other birds, including currawongs, and dive bomb (though not quite hitting) tawny frogmouths that are slumbering in their day roosts and nests. (But, I’ve never witnessed miners harassing the helpless, fluffy white chicks when the parents are away from the nest.) Since frogmouths and currawongs both consume nestlings, I tolerated the rowdy miners’ aggressive behavior.

My point is that, in my local area, noisy miner groups have the ability to outnumber and dominate Indian mynas, and may have even contributed to their population decline. Few other birds are able to accomplish this, necessitating the unique traits of fearless aggression and group cooperation against a common foe. Naturally, it is precisely these characteristics that make the noisy miner a dangerous species that aggressively defends its habitat.

The noisy miner’s defense of the nestlings of other species is the central theme of my tale. Pay close attention to people who say that miners “break eggs and kill chicks” of other birds.

My neighbor chopped down a tall, thin tree in 1993 because it was home to a butcher bird’s nest, from which his young children were being dive-bombed. The children showed us the overturned nest and the two terrified nestlings—one of whom had a broken leg—scattering across the ground. We took it away to get splinted.

Lesley, my spouse and a WIRES volunteer, made the decision to save the birds and placed them along with their nest in an open cardboard box that was placed on a stump. In an effort to encourage the parents of butcher birds to feed their young, we intended to move the box 50 meters each day toward the 100-meter-distance bush reserve. They did not, however. So Lesley fed them tinned baby food.

A group of (very) noisy miners, ranging in number from four to twelve, were the nestlings’ immediate caregivers. They were gathered excitedly on or near the cardboard box’s edge, peering in and seemingly deterring predators.

The following day, we witnessed a running fight for survival between pied currawongs and rowdy miners. The cardboard box was perched on a rock outcrop in our garden, just 40 meters away from the bush. The swarming miners would chase the currawongs away as they attacked from above, swooping low. The mid-air battles resembled fighter aircraft attacking slower enemy bombers. I hurriedly fitted netting over the box. The miners were still on duty, but the danger had significantly decreased.

I secured the nest into a tree in the shrub on the third day. The parents of the butcher birds finally showed up to feed their young. The miners now left.

I returned the larger nestling with the broken leg to the nest after he frequently fell out. But he eventually disappeared, taken by some predator. The smaller nestling gained weight quickly, and after a week it was flying.

Later, the male butcher bird that we had been feeding fell on my head from behind, hooked a bloody cut through my eyebrow, and reached its beak down to my right eye. Unusual behaviour. How much for appreciation and bird intelligence? Should we also question our own intelligence for messing with nature and, consequently, for government initiatives to obstruct noisy miners in their natural areas? I find it hard to believe that miners would break eggs and kill chicks unless they are in danger.

In conclusion, spare a thought for the much maligned noisy miners! They may contribute to limiting the spread of Indian mynas and occasionally shield other species’ nestlings from larger predatory bird species.

Indian myna (left) and noisy miner (right)


How do you get rid of noisy miner birds?

Try to limit how many nectar-rich species you plant, as nectar, fruit and insects are noisy miners’ favourite foods. Creating a garden that is brimming with plants will also help achieve the opposite of the open habitats that noisy miners love. Also, don’t feed wildlife or leave out food for any other wild animals.

Are noisy miners good or bad?

The native noisy miner bird is a serious environmental menace in Melbourne, driving other native birds out of the suburbs and disrupting their breeding cycles – and we are helping them to do it.

What kind of bird is a noisy miner?

The Noisy Miner is a native Australian honeyeater, while the Common Myna, although similar in appearance, is an unrelated member of the starling family and an introduced species.

What scares miner birds?

Noisy miners are territorial birds and can be deterred by using sound and visual cues. Hang reflective objects, such as CDs or mirrors, in your garden and you can also use bird-scaring devices, such as plastic snakes or owls, or play recordings of predator calls to scare them away.