The noisy miner (Manorina melanocephala), also known as the mickey bird or soldier bird, is a native Australian bird and is protected under State Wildlife Legislation (Nature Conservation Act 1992). It is a serious offence to harm noisy miners.
In its natural environment, the noisy miner feeds on nectar, fruit, insects and assists in the pollination of native plants.
Noisy miners are pale grey, have a yellow beak and a small yellow patch behind their eye. They:
- are noted for their aggressive behaviour excluding all small birds from their territory
- have a complex social organisation. It is common to have a loose colony of several hundred birds -males outnumber females
- are often confused with the introduced common, or Indian myna. While the noisy miner is mostly grey, the common, or Indian myna, is largely brown.
They thrive in human-modified landscapes, however their natural habitats are dry eucalypt forests, woodlands and remnant bushland. Noisy miners are widespread and abundant throughout the Brisbane region.
Problems caused by noisy miners
In suburban parklands and lightly timbered agricultural lands an increase in population numbers may impact on local wildlife by displacing or excluding other native bird species. As a result, some people regard them as a nuisance.
- aggressively defend their territory from other native birds and wildlife species
- harass predatory birds, mammals and reptiles which results in their leaving the area
- may attack some smaller birds.
This agressive behaviour is linked with reductions in small insect-eating birds, which may influence levels of dieback in eucalyptus forests associated with increasing insect numbers, and decreased seed dispersal by small frugivorous birds.
In suburban areas, groups of noisy miners may 'gang up' and swoop domestic animals such as dogs and cats. They may be extremely noisy, and their aggressive behaviour towards other wildlife species is of concern to some people.
Noisy miners increase their noise, aggression and activity leading up to and during the breeding season, mostly from June to December.
What Council is doing
Brisbane City Council has adopted ‘working towards a natural balance’ as the guiding management principle in controlling native ‘nuisance’ species such as the noisy miner. Council aims to:
- preserve, protect and enhance the interior of remnant bushland to discourage noisy miners who prefer forest edges or smaller open or disturbed reserves. They may be restricted to the outer edge, minimising the availability of suitable nesting sites
- promote the growth of understorey vegetation to make sites less attractive to noisy miners and provide protection for smaller bird species.
What you can do
- do not feed noisy miners
- plant a dense understorey of shrubs and groundcovers to provide protection to small native bird species
- do not try to catch, kill or cause injury to the birds
- do not remove nests or eggs
- do not disturb the birds when there are fledglings in the nest.
For more information phone Council on 07 3403 8888.