Posted in Animals and conservation, Family life

Our Cranky Bird – another family member?

Most weekends we do our leisurely paper read and then I’ll take Mahli for a run.If the weather is nice, try to get outside with a book for an hour or so. We also barbecue often, so our backyard is a special place. Suddenly, the serenity has disappeared.

The Noisy Miner Bird we've named Cranky because he makes angry noises when he swoops us, but never connects.
The Noisy Miner Bird we’ve named Cranky because he makes angry noises when he swoops us, but never connects.

Cranky Bird has taken up residence. Well not exactly. We don’t know where this cheeky Miner Bird actually nests but he visits our yard often. It might be a spring thing. It started with him making his weird noises on the tree near the clothes line and occasionally swooping Mahli. Mahli would look up bemused and then chase the bird to the fence or another tree but never go close to getting it.

The real name is Manorina melanocephala and it’s a honeyeater. It doesn’t seem really sweet, rather sour. This is a cheeky little bird that seems to watch us all the time. Saturday I watched it swoop Mahli before it went for my head, as I read a book on my sun lounge. Cranky doesn’t peck us he just swoops with a little clicking noise and a great speed. He misses by THAT much!

Maybe he’s just playing and I think he’s harmless but I am curious as to why he does it so regularly. Aparently these birds have a territory and maybe he thinks we invaded his instead of the other way around. We do have a beautiful tree a tibouchina, with pretty purple flowers and possibly a nice nectare for a honeyeater bird. Maybe this tree has been marked in his territory.

The Noisy Miner Bird is said to be aggressive and we’ve seen Cranky chase off poor little Lorrikeetes but I think he’s only warning us because he never connects. Maybe because we talk to him he finds it as somewhat a game. I just hope Cranky never gets too close to Mahli’s teeth, or that spunky little bird really will be cranky.

I decided to set up my camera to video Cranky’s behaviour. You’ll get a laugh out of his antics as he swoops, Mahli, then me and Blake.


Donna Munro is the author of The Zanzibar Moon and Kendwa's Secret, freelance writer, blogger, graphic artist, content writer, book marketer, administrator, web editor and book reader. She's been published in Take Five, The Australian Woman's Weekly, For Me, She, That's Life, Woman's Day and Club Life (as well as smaller publications). In 2017 she formed Warm Witty Publishing to self publish her debut novel 'The Zanzibar Moon'. Donna lives on the Gold Coast with her husband, youngest son and the weirdo Staffy Mahli. She adores being a grandmother but still feels young. She often joins her husband's pool cleaning business, just for fun (but is unsure if she's all that helpful). She keeps fit and has a fondness for elephants (she sponsors Tundani in Kenya) and owls. You'll often find her digging her toes in the sand while reading a novel at the beach.

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