Monday, 6 February 2012

Garden Visitors - the Noisy Miner

Although this common bird does not have a colourful plumage or a striking beauty, it makes itself noticed by its sounds, high-pitched and harsh whistles which become overwhelming when a whole family is performing together. They are very gregarious birds and almost always seen in flocks, mobbing all other species, they are very determined to chase as far away as possible even the peaceful Crested Pigeons and they chase, mob and fight even the other members of their own species as well.

The Noisy Miner - Manorina melanocephala, is the sentinel of the bush, warning with their loud alarm calls all the members of their flock and other birds about pretty much everything that's going on in the area no matter if it is just a walking person or a snake, in the second case this behaviour could even save their lives. Their way of bathing is rather funny, in fact they fly or jump over the water and plunge noisily into it, flying away soon after plunging splashing water all around, perching nearby and removing excess water with those very fast movement of the wings that all birds do when bathing.

It is probably the most common bird in the Brisbane area and this is due to their aggressiveness which has lead many small species to drastically reduce their populations. Noisy Miners mostly feed on nectar and insects and they benefited from some widespread gardening practices where some plant species are chosen for suburban gardens. They also thrive in cities' suburbs because of their high adaptability regarding feeding, accepting food scraps and leftovers given more or less willingly by humans. All these reasons determined their population to boom in urbanized areas and the decrease of number of smaller species that previously inhabited those territories. 


  1. lovely study on the Noisy miner.

  2. A most enjoyable interpretation Matteo!

  3. You have caught their character beautifully. They certainly are gregarious, adaptable and very intelligent. I have seen them unravel and steal pieces of string from tents for their nest building. They work with tremendous energy and determination. Personally, I am not very fond of them but their antics can certainly be very entertaining.

  4. A well named, cheeky little thing, with a real 'zest' for life. I like them already! Your last sketch has really caught that naughty little glint in the eye. :)

  5. This is great Metteo. Beautiful how you paint this birds and I love it to read the story about them. We don't know these birds here and never seen them before.
    Lovely greet

  6. Matteo, es un placer visitar tu blog. Espero que algún día publiques un libro con tus bellos trabajos de aves y poder disfrutar de ellos en papel.
    La biodiversidad por desgracia es menor cada día.
    Un gran abrazo

    Matteo is a pleasure to visit your blog. I hope someday you publish a book with your beautiful work of birds and enjoy them on paper.
    Unfortunately, biodiversity is reduced each day.
    A big hug

  7. Thank you everybody for the nice comments and support your comments are always such a joy, Fran, I hope I'll publish a book one day, I'll let you know...
    Take care

  8. Your work is stunning, I can't stop admiring all your drawings. If you publish anything, I'll buy for sure!!! :) great work and my best for what's next! :)


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