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Tweets and Noises Adelaide’s Noisy Miner Dilemma

Tweets and Noises: Adelaide’s Noisy Miner Dilemma 

Having trouble maintaining your sanity amid the constant squawks of mischievous noisy miners in Adelaide? Well, unfortunately, you’re not the only one losing sleep and much-needed relaxation time because of them.

Don’t fret, though, as our team will help you with your noisy miner concerns. If you want to know more about these feathered rockstars and can’t wait to hear silence again, check out what we got below!

What are noisy miners? 

Noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala) are medium-sized birds belonging to the Honeyeater family and are native to eastern and southeastern Australia. They’re notorious for their loud and incessant vocalizations, hence their name.

These birds are highly social and live in large colonies, often consisting of up to 20 or more individuals—which is bad news if they decide to have a concert near your home. Spoiler alert: they never received a memo about using their inside voices.

Noisy miners have a distinctive appearance with gray plumage, black heads, and bright yellow-orange beaks. They have robust bodies and strong legs adapted for hopping and flying short distances.

What are noisy miners

Feathered Facts: 

  • Noisy miners engage in communal bathing.
  • These birds roost late and sleep like a log, often unfazed by noise and light sources.
  • Noisy miners partake in bathing rituals by submerging themselves in water, energetically flapping their wings, and momentarily dipping their heads underwater. Interestingly, they have been observed using foliage dampened by rain or dew as well as dry soil or fine litter for dust-bathing. This behavior demonstrates their adaptability to different environmental conditions.
  • The edges of lakes and dams are the favored drinking spots of noisy miners, where they come together for communal drinking sessions like mates on a weekend night.

Female noisy miners don’t help with the nest-building process, and they also rarely assist fledglings.

Why are there so many noisy miners in Adelaide? 

Adelaide has become a hotspot for noisy miners because of our city’s abundant food sources, numerous nesting spots, and lack of predators. 

Noisy miners are known to feed on nectar, fruits, insects, and even human-provided treats like pet food and crumbs. Adelaide’s gardens, flowering trees, and urban green spaces simply offer a buffet of resources for these opportunistic fowls.

Adelaide provides noisy miners with a good habitat

Adelaide provides noisy miners with a good habitat

Additionally, noisy miners have a huge thing for living in compact eucalyptus forests, typically under 300 hectares and characterized by sparse understorey vegetation and a grassy ground layer, which Adelaide’s agricultural landscapes have plenty of.

It’s a case of birds and crops vying for the same prime real estate. And so far, the birds are winning. 

Adelaide doesn’t have enough birds of prey

Adelaide doesn’t have enough birds of prey

Natural predators that would typically keep noisy miner populations in check, such as larger birds of prey, are less common to patrol the city’s skies. 

The local bird hierarchy seems to have gone topsy-turvy, leaving the noisy miners to rule the roost without any formidable foes to keep them in line. 

Noisy miners know how to defend their territories 

Noisy miners are known for their territorial behavior, often engaging in mobbing and chasing behaviors to defend their colonies. 

This assertive nature helps them dominate and exclude other bird species from their territories, further contributing to their population growth. It’s a bird-eat-bird world out there, and the noisy miners know how to play the game.

Noisy miners are terrific at adapting

Noisy miners are terrific at adapting

Lastly, noisy miners are highly adaptable birds, capable of thriving in a variety of habitats. 

They have successfully adjusted to the presence of humans and urbanization, finding suitable nesting sites in parks, gardens, and tree-lined streets throughout Adelaide.

Are noisy miners aggressive toward humans? 

Noisy miners in Adelaide exhibit atypical aggression towards humans when it comes to protecting their families, mostly during the breeding season—a behavior setting them apart from most birds in the region.

In addition, it’s not just during breeding season when they can be a nuisance. As said before, noisy miners are territorial birds, fiercely guarding their homes and food sources throughout the year. 

Swooping is a typical behavior they employ to intimidate perceived threats, including humans and larger birds. So keep your eyes peeled if you hear their noise; you might be their next unfortunate target.

How do to manage noisy miners in your homes? 

One effective approach to lessen the number of noisy miners in your area is to incorporate a variety of native plants with different heights into your garden. 

You can start by introducing groundcovers, and small- and medium-sized shrubs and sprinkle in a few trees. 

This creates a diverse habitat and attracts other native birds such as silvereyes, superb fairy-wrens, and magpie larks.

Build a diverse garden

Build a diverse garden

Additionally, you should aim to create a garden teeming with verdant and diverse plant life. 

Think of it as your secret garden inviting a diverse array of bird species while sending a subtle message to the noisy miners that their territorial reign might need to find a new address.

Limit your nectar-rich plants

Limit your nectar-rich plants

When selecting plants, it’s advisable to limit the number of nectar-rich species, as nectar, fruit, and insects happen to be the noisy miners’ favorite delicacies. 

By reducing their preferred food sources, you’re closing the buffet of these feathered troublemakers.

Limit or remove possible nesting sites

Limit or remove possible nesting sites

Don’t forget to inspect your home for potential nesting sites such as dense shrubs, tree hollows, or other suitable structures. 

If possible, remove or modify these areas to make them less appealing for nesting. For example, trim or thin out dense shrubbery to reduce nesting opportunities.

Also, you should consider installing bird netting or barriers to prevent their access. This can be particularly effective in protecting vulnerable areas, such as eaves, roof spaces, or outdoor structures.

Install reflective and noisy objects

Install reflective and noisy objects

The combination of noise and reflective surfaces creates a sensory disruption for the birds, making the environment less desirable for them to establish their territories and nests. 

Try hanging wind chimes in areas where noisy miners tend to frequent. The gentle tinkling sound produced by the chimes can create an auditory disturbance that deters the birds.

Install reflective and noisy objects

You may also install old CDs, aluminum foil strips, or reflective tape in visible locations. As sunlight hits the surfaces of these objects, it creates reflections and flashes that can startle noisy miners.

If you want to get fancy, place scarecrow or owl decoys in your garden. The presence of these predator-like figures might create a sense of threat, possibly dissuading noisy miners from approaching.

Why are noisy miners a threat to Adelaide’s biodiversity?


Noisy miners can threaten Adelaide’s biodiversity due to their aggressive behavior and dominance over other bird species. 

Their territorial nature and propensity to exclude other birds from their territories can result in a decline in the diversity and abundance of native bird populations. 

This can have cascading effects on the ecosystem, affecting pollination, seed dispersal, and overall ecological balance.

Possible Solution to Adelaide’s Large Population of Noisy Miners

Restoration of the Noisy Miners’ Natural Habitat

Restoration of the Noisy Miners’ Natural Habitat

Restoring the understorey layers of nosey miners’ natural habitat in the woodlands is considered the key solution to counter their overwhelming presence in our areas. 

However, ending the noisy miners’ reign doesn’t come cheap and isn’t easy as pie! 

Efforts to achieve lasting and cost-effective habitat restoration for countering the noisy miners’ dominance face the hurdles of time and financial resources. 

Additionally, the uncertainty surrounding effective restoration methods adds to the complexity. 

While restoration is crucial for biodiversity conservation, it may require altering the agricultural landscape, which can have economic implications for farmers and landowners. 

Culling the Noisy Miners

Noisy miners are protected under Australian law, limiting deliberate culling without specific authorization or wildlife management programs.

But in exceptional cases where noisy miners substantially threaten endangered or vulnerable species or ecosystems, limited culling measures may be considered a last resort. 

These measures, however, require thorough assessment and consultation with relevant authorities to ensure conservation purposes are met. 

In fact, to prevent the extinction of certain highly threatened small woodland bird species impacted by noisy miners, some ecologists and conservation managers have proposed culling the noisy miners.

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