Lifestyle

Noisy birds ruffle feathers during breeding season

Noisy minor chicks in the nest.
Noisy minor chicks in the nest. Contributed

THEY'RE small, loud, breeding like crazy and sending residents into flights of rage.

The breeding season for noisy miner birds is here and their human neighbours are not happy.

Fiona DeGabriele said the miners in her Glen Eden backyard were her most hated visitors.

"They've just got the most blood-boiling sound to them," she said.

"I've had them attack my dog in the backyard before, they are a right pain in the backside.

"What are they good for again?"

The little grey birds breed from June to November, with their calls increasing as they compete for mates and protect their territories.

Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife CEO Susanna Bradshaw said the territorial bird often copped a bad wrap.

"Our native noisy miners are not everyone's favourite neighbours and often with good reason," she said.

"When a noisy miner family sets up home, they become very territorial and will often mob other animals such as cats and dogs and all sorts of native wildlife.

"This behaviour unfortunately drives away many of these animals, such as small wrens and ringtail possums."

Ms Bradshaw told The Observer there were clear distinctions between miner bird calls.

"If they feel there is a threat nearby, you will hear a very loud, quick 'pwee, pwee, pwee'," she said.

"When they're relaxed, their calls are much softer and when the babies want food, they make a high-pitched call."

Mrs Bradshaw said the native miner bird was often confused for the common myna or Indian myna.

"Common mynas are a much bigger problem for Australia's wildlife because they are non-native, very aggressive and have a rapidly expanding population," she said.

"Common mynas look quite similar to noisy miners in their size and shape but their colouring is very different."

Common mynas have dark-brown feathers whereas the noisy miners are mainly grey.

Topics:  animals, birds, environment, gladstone



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