Backyard birds: Noisy Miners
One of the joys of living on the Fraser Coast is being able to work in and around the garden pretty well 12 months of the year and be able to study and enjoy the multitude of wildlife and birds on offer, such as the Noisy Miners.
The simple selection and placement of trees and shrubs will open your garden to the splendours of nature with the most prolific being birds.
One bird species that are frequent in this area are the Miner birds (not to be confused with the Myna bird).
Of the four varieties of Miner Birds, the most common to us is the Noisy Miner also known as the Micky or Soldierbird.
Noisy Miners are one of the most animated and aggressive species to visit the garden.
They are especially noisy when a predator such as a goanna, crow or the household cat wanders into the garden and will fly around the intruder calling loudly and snapping its beak at it, which is possibly why it is also known as the Soldierbird’
Noisy Miners have adapted well to suburbia and our leafy gardens and green lawns. They’re easily identifiable with their incessant chatter call of “pwee pwee pwee’” or the chuckling “weedidit weedidit weedidit”.
Noisy Miners feed mainly on insects
Feeding mainly on insects in the upper tree covering they do enjoy fruit and nectar and will feed on a bird feeder placed near a tree.
While they’ll have a go at most fruits they are very partial to PawPaw. Trees such as Banksia’s and Grevilleas are a great way of providing shelter and nectar for our Miner friends,
These little blokes are real entertainers when it comes to bath time, taking in turns to dive-bomb into the birdbath or even the family pool and then retreating to a nearby fence or tree branch whilst they preen and clean their feathers.
A close relative of the Noisy Miner is the Yellow-throated Miner. Almost identical to the Noisy except for a yellowish patch on the fore-neck and a more pronounced white rump. It is not unheard of on the Fraser Coast but lives predominantly in drier areas to the west of the Great Dividing Range. A keen eye is needed if you are to spot the difference.
Miner birds have been wrongly linked with the introduced Myna bird which is of the Starling family and considered a pest in many areas.
The Myna bird was introduced into Australia from south-east Asia in the 1860s and can be found in many parts of the country. They are a similar size to our native Miners but black to dark brown in colour with larger yellow feet and have a bandy walk.
Don Watts of Maryborough attracts Noisy Miners to his garden with pieces of fruit in a bowl. Photos by Jocelyn.