Noisy Miners Parenting

To: Evan Beaver <>
Subject: Noisy Miners Parenting
From: Andrew Taylor <>
Date: Sun, 30 Apr 2006 19:08:16 +1000
On Sun, Apr 30, 2006 at 04:04:33PM +1000, Evan Beaver wrote:
> Do Noisy Miners in a group share parenting responsiibilities? There is, as
> far as I can tell, only one nest with a couple of chicks in it down the back
> yard, and every Miner in the area seems to be defending it. Do they gather
> food as a team as well? They've been quite bold lately as well, individuals
> rather than groups attacking anything that comes into the yard, Magpies
> included. Though they seem to have developed an uneasy truce with the
> resident Grey Butcherbirds.

Noisy Miners are one of the best known example of cooperative breeding
due to work by Douglas Dow, at UQ in the 1970s.  He also described
their exclusion of other species from their territory.  Hugh Ford's book
"The Ecology of Birds: an Australian Perspective" (well worth owning)
has a chapter on cooperative breeding. More recently DNA studies have
provided parentage.  You have to pay (or go to a uni library) to
see this one:
but this one for Bell Miners is free:

My impression around Sydney is that the occurance of Noisy Miners and
Grey Butcherbirds are correlated.

Andrew Taylor

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