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Noisy Miner attacking Pied Currawong

on 10th June 2008

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Most Australian birders would know that Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) are territorial and extremely aggressive. They would not hesitate to attack larger birds that invade their territory.

An earlier post by Dr CH Lee a.k.a lchxian, details the attack by Noisy Miners (Manorina melanocephala) on a helpless Spotted Dove (Streptopelia chinensis) in Centennial Park, Sydney, Australia.

Compared to the dove, which is about 15-20 cm long, the miner is larger at 25-29 cm. In the above case a small group of miners were attacking the smaller dove.

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The aggressiveness of the miner is further shown when Dr Lee documented a lone Noisy Miner persistently harassing a single but much larger Pied Currawong (Strepera graculina) (above). The latter eventually flew off with the miner chasing it (below). At 44-48 cm long, this currawong is nearly twice the size of the miner.

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The Pied Currawong is an omnivorous scavenger. Looking like a crow because of its black plumage and thick, heavy and black bill, it is in fact closely allied to butcherbirds and Australian Magpie (Gymnorhina tibicen). It prefers forests and woodlands but has become adapted to urban areas, especially during winter.

Check out Ichxian’s site, walking the path.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. The Noisy Miner is harassing the Pied Currawong, not attacking it. This is not necesarily common, as these two species are often seen in Waverton combining to harass Kookaburras and Australian Ravens. In Cremorne the Noisy Miners follow the Pied Currawongs around to pick up the crumbs.

    The Noisy Miner is a small bird with a small beak. Its harassing is all bluff. It is a bird of disturbed habitats. It is not the Noisy Miners which drive away other birds, it is rather the humans clearing and thinning the forest.

    It is OUR FAULT, so DO NOT BLAME THEM!!!

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