13 comments on “When the Miner is a Major Problem – Australia’s Most Aggressive Bird

  1. I’ve seen these Miners in a zoo, but never imagined they have such a “tough bird” reputation. I’ll have to be less impressed with them the next time I see them. 🙂

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  2. I could be totally wrong but I feel this is an issue related to urban expansion. The miners near me aren’t as bad. However, massive flocks of Corellas are abundant…And rainbow lorikeets. I rarely see galahs now because they Lori’s bully them out of trees. And I know red wattlebirds are aggressive and territorial by nature, but watching 2 mob a kookaburra while a third was swinging from its tail feather was heartbreaking. But like I said, I may be wrong. I am relatively new to the world of birds and definitely will admit ignorance 😀

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    • Thanks for your welcome comment Lolipops, yes urban expansion has an impact on bird behaviour and home gardens growing nectar producing plants which through drought years are becoming less numerous in the wild. Australia as you sited well has one of the largest number of aggressive bird species, which mainly are in the honeyeater class and they all compete for nectar and Lerps. Because unlike the bird in other countries most of our birds are territorial and annual they live feed and nest together year after year. As the more aggressive birds increase in an area of one kind the less numerous and more placid species get evicted or suffer stress. Studies are being carried out, and have been by both Government and universities of our native Miner problem. as well as the introduced Common Myna problem. When all is said, it is similar to human society and why us fragile beings have survived and dominated the planet so well, the birds that remain in large organised social family or flock groups with division of labour, have been shown to breed and survive more successfully.

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    • Thanks William, so delighted my post is enlightening. I like to share more the bird behaviour aspect than just photos, as this is what I use in teaching life skills and bringing young people in contact with God’s good purposes for life.

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  3. The grey miners are “invading” our area. The beautiful larger birds are being chased away, along with the smaller birds. Even the blackbird is missing this year for the first time in many years. I understand that as the grey miner is an Australian native bird nothing can be done. So sad to see kookaburras, galahs, rosellas, yellow tailed black cockatoos, wattle birds, tiny finches missing from our gardens. Still a few lorikeets tho after our apples! The grey miners love the nectar of the flowers of our Echeveria cacti chirping all the time they are feeding.

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    • Thanks Merryl for your comment, invade is certainly a good description. As you accurately identified, many birds have been so mobbed and become so distressed that they have moved further into the forest to escape these birds which appear to have become urban inhabitants in recent years. Miners do not attack Lorikeets normally as the Loris can inflict a severe wound to them, so they tend to leave them alone, and share nectar trees. We miss the Kookaburras also. Sadly one now has to go out to the forest fringes and National Parks and Reserves to see many of the birds that we use to see in suburbia.

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  4. Ha!
    Beaut article, tells the story of their robust and somewhat obnoxious habits. The Bell also harvest lerp and encourage it on chosen patches of eucalyptus, eventually the trees result in poor health and sometimes death.

    Also as you say, they are not afraid of humans. If they miners build a nest near public access, they are aggressive towards us humans in protection of ‘their’ area.

    I wonder what percentage of birds, miners represent, and if the numbers are growing.

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    • Thanks David, Yes it is interesting to know if they are on the increase or just becoming more urban in their choice of habitat as some one suggested, as I have noticed they seem to less in numbers the further you go into forest or thick bush. There family structure certainly makes for good survival and breeding. There is research going on in various universities regarding their menacing other birds. One of the Que uni lecturers approached me some years ago for some photos. Enjoy the rest of the week!

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