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Noisy Miners (fledged siblings)

Manorina melanocephala

Description:

This pair of fledged sibling miners was spotted on the footpath, snuggling together in the mid-afternoon sun. Like all the adult birds that have grown up in this area, these young birds have little fear of people, and this can put them in harms way. I have physically picked these birds up and placed them into the trees or shrubs for fear they would be squished by cars or trodden on by people. One of them followed me into the building! Fledgling birds can utter 85 to 100 'chip' calls in a minute, and these two have been squawking away ceaselessly all week! They would now be a few weeks old. Feeding the little ones is a communal activity, and a full-time one too - the adults are kept busy! Wikipedia has loads of information on this species.

Habitat:

Spotted in the trees, gardens, and car park at the Metroplex on Gateway estate, Murarrie, Brisbane.

Notes:

Despite these birds being so common, I find their interactions with one another, with people, or with any living creature that is not a noisy miner, to be very entertaining, and their social structure is particularly interesting. "This is a gregarious species.... Within a colony, a male bird will occupy an 'activity space', which will overlap with the activity spaces of other males. Males with overlapping activity spaces form associations called 'coteries', usually consisting of 10 to 25 birds. Coteries are the most stable unit within the colony. The birds also form temporary flocks when engaged in the same activity. These flocks, called 'coalitions', usually comprise five to eight birds, although coalitions of up to 40 birds can occur when mobbing a potential predator. Membership of the coalition changes frequently as individuals leave the group as it passes beyond the boundary of their activity space, or the activity ends or changes, as when the breeding season begins. Females use activity spaces that overlap with those of male birds, but not other females, so that females will join coalitions with males in their area, but only rarely will there be more than one female in the coalition. The exclusivity of female activity spaces leads to young females being driven out of the colony in which they were born, and also makes it difficult for them to gain a place in a new colony. A study of banded nestlings that survived in one colony until the next breeding season, found that they were all male birds, suggesting that all female nestlings had died or left the colony. Emigration of males does not seem to occur until the population density of the colony reaches a critical level." (Wiki)

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5 Comments

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 44 minutes ago

Your spotting has been nominated for the Spotting of the Week. The winner will be chosen by the Project Noah Rangers based on a combination of factors including: uniqueness of the shot, status of the organism (for example, rare or endangered), quality of the information provided in the habitat and description sections. There is a subjective element, of course; the spotting with the highest number of Ranger votes is chosen. Congratulations on being nominated!

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 days ago

Delightful, well-mannered creatures ;)

Mark Ridgway
Mark Ridgway 3 days ago

Your favourites Neil and you know it.

Neil Ross
Neil Ross 2 weeks ago

I like the sound of that, Ava. Thank you :) Almost as lively as coming nose to beak with one of the swooping adults. Screams and/or profanities usually follow!

Ava T-B
Ava T-B 2 weeks ago

Lively notes as always, Neil!

Neil Ross
Spotted by
Neil Ross

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Spotted on May 15, 2020
Submitted on May 16, 2020

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