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18

Noisy Miner

(Manorina melanocephala)
Alternate name(s): "Garrulous Honey-eater", "Snakebird", "Cherry-eater", "Squeaker", "Soldierbird", "Mickey*"
Size: 25-28 cm; wing span 36-45 cm
Weight: 70-80 g

Similar species

Description     Classification     Distribution     Sightings     Photos     Breeding     Nest     Eggs     Behaviour     Food     Call/s

Physical description

Click here for a physical description

Taxonomy, classification

See Noisy Miner at Wikipedia .

Range, habitat, finding this species

Click here for information on habitat and range

Sightings

Click here for sighting information

Photos

Race "melanocephala"

ADULT

Frontal view of an adult Noisy Miner on a grevillea (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[St. Albans, NSW, July 2015]

Lateral view of a Noisy Miner (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Centenial Park, Sydney, NSW, August 2015]

Race "lepidota"

ADULT

Frontal view of an adult Noisy Miner (photo courtesy of R. Druce)

Frontal view of a curious Noisy Miner checking out the photographer
[Near Narrabri, NSW, January 2006]

Lateral view of a Noisy Miner at close range
[Eulah Creek, NSW, January 2008]

Lateral view of a Noisy Miner on the rim of another water bowl (photo courtesy of R. Druce)
[Maules Creek, NSW, January 2013]

An upset Noisy Miner squawking at the intruder that unknowingly had come too close to its lair
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 1997]

Mob of Noisy Miners making a nuisance of themselves (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, July 2013]

Noisy Miner checking out an Australian Magpie
[Near Narrabri, NSW, 2006]

IMMATURE/JUVENILE

Frontal view of an immature Noisy Miner
[Kempsey, NSW, October 2013]

Frontal view of an immature Noisy Miner in a grevillea (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2013]

Fledgling Noisy Miners (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, October 2016]

Precocial Noisy Miner chick that has fled its nest rather a bit too early; it was found squawking while the parents did their best to feed the youngster that could not fly yet
[Urunga, NSW, August 2015]

Race "leachi"

ADULT

Lateral view of an adult Noisy Miner (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Hobart, TAS, March 2016]

Lateral view of an adult Noisy Miner (photo courtesy of B. Hensen)
[Hobart, TAS, March 2016]

Breeding information

Breeding season: May - Jan Eggs: 2 - 3 Incubation period: 16 days Fledging age: 17 - 19 days

Given the right conditions, Noisy Miners can breed any time of the year.

Nest

"bungobittah", "malunna" = nest [Aboriginal]

Type: Basket Material: Twigs, grass Height above ground: 1 - 20 m

Two Noisy Miner chicks in their nest, begging for food (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, October 2016]

Noisy Miner chick being fed (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, October 2016]

Near fledging-age Noisy Miner chick on the edge of its nest (photo courtesy of L. Scott)
[Roseberry Creek Valley, near Toonumbar NP, northern NSW, October 2016]

Noisy Miner sitting on its nest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

The same Noisy Miner as above, now cleaning the nest
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Noisy Miner tending to the newly hatched chicks
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Here is pop Noisy Miner bringing in some tucker
[Near Narrabri, NSW, September 2006]

Noisy Miner bringing a soft downy feather for lining its nest (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, October 2011]

Eggs

"boyanga", "booyanga", "derinya", "dirandil", "koomura", "ngampu", "nooluk", "pateena" = Egg; "dirundirri" = eggs [Aboriginal]; "gawu" = eggs [gamilaraay]

Size: 25 x 20 mm Colour: Creamy, with copious dark-brown speckles Shape: Tapered oval

Behaviour

Social behaviour: Communal Mobility: Sedentary Elementary unit: Family clan

Noisy Miners are used by other bird species as "sentries". When their alarm call is heard, other birds will leave the area.

They form flocks of up to around 20 birds to chase away intruders such as e.g. Australian Ravens. They have earned their name as "Snakebirds", because they raise a vociferous alarm whenever a snake is in sight.

As all other nectar-eating species staying in the Narrabri area during wintertime, Noisy Miners are also omnivores.

Everybody knows that Noisy Miners can make a nuisance of themselves. Below an example - a family clan "inspecting" a disused Little Friarbirds' nest. We had observed them in the area before and are sure that, given a chance, they would have raided that nest even when it was in use. But we do not know what the Noisy Miners were looking for, since they do not build hanging nests themselves.

Family clan of Noisy Miners inspecting a Little Friarbirds' nest
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2011]

Closer view of the last Noisy Miner to leave
[Eulah Creek, NSW, March 2011]

Food, Diet

Adults: Nectar, insects Dependents: Insects Water intake: Daily

Like all miners of the Manorina family, Noisy Miners do not exclusively feed on nectar, but also on insects taken from leaves or bark.

Immature Noisy Miner taking nectar from a grevillea (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Coast, QLD, November 2013]

Noisy Miner picking lerps off the underside of eucalypt leaves
[Eulah Creek, NSW, July 2011]

Noisy Miner taking insects from tree bark (photo courtesy of A. Ross-Taylor)
[Highland Park, Gold Goast, QLD, August 2011]

Meat-loving Noisy Miner "dismantling" a locust to make it fit into its bill (and in the process leaving a mess behind on the picnic table)
[Urunga, NSW, March 2015]

Additional information

There is a separate page with a short description of Psyllids and lerps.

Call(s)/Song

For this species we have recorded the following call(s)/song. The interpretation of their meaning is our own; comments and suggestions for improvement are welcome.

noisymn_20160202.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Contact calls? © MD
noisymn_jc_20151114.mp3 lepidota
(S VIC)
Territorial calls?
(break of dawn)
© JC
noisymn_20160318.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Alarm calls
(Southern Boobook)
© MD
noisymn_20140224.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Warning calls
( Australian Raven)
© MD
noisymn_20140129.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Annoyed call © MD
noisymn_20140423_2.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Alarm/warning
(Pied Currawong)
© MD
noisymn_20150224.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Alarm/warning
(Australian Magpie)
© MD
noisymn_20140129_2.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
"Piping" © MD
noisymn_20140416_3.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
"Piping" © MD
noisymn_20140120.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
(Bathing) © MD
noisymn_20140309.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Quarreling © MD
noisymn_20141110.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Begging calls? © MD
noisymn_20140226.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
Various © MD
noisymn_20140109.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
? © MD
noisymn_20140110.mp3 lepidota
(NW NSW)
? © MD
Click here for more recordings

These pages are largely based on our own observations and those of our contributors. The structure of these bird pages is explained HERE. For more salient facts on any bird species please refer to a field guide.

Would you like to contribute photos or sound recordings to this site?
If interested, please CLICK HERE. Credits to contributors are given HERE.