Bird behaviour/stereotypes

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windshear's picture
Bird behaviour/stereotypes

Apart from photography and my real job, I am also a writer, and I'm always intrigued by stories about lore, or mythology which surrounds different animal.

In my weekend sojourns, I came across three Fantailed Cuckoos at two different locations. I guess when I was growing up and had heard about Cuckoos, those rascally birds that lay eggs in other birds nests and leave the parents to feed their babies, I kind of had a mental image of a mean and nasty looking bird.

But I have found they are quite cute! :)

Crows / ravens are one of those kind of birds that have their own mythology about them, as being the smartest birds, and what not.

Some time ago I was waiting at the traffic lights, and saw a crow (exact species unknown) picking up bits of food and dipping it in a styrofoam cup (presumably filled with water) and then eating its food. Around my house I have honey buckets under the downpipes to catch rainwater, and I've seen crows pull them out from underneath the pipe to do the same thing.

Interested in hearing anyone else's thoughts/stories.

Just for fun I've attached a pic of one of the nasty cute adorable cuckoos with an evil alien plant sneaking up on it.laugh

Araminta's picture

Ooo, that plant does look like an ALIAN. ET is baaaaackyes


pacman's picture

is there a phone in the bush?


shoop's picture

Just to change the subject a little windshear, after looking at your cuckoo photo with the evil alien in the background it reminded me of a photo i took back in 2007 when i was into insects and bugs . Here in my photo i was capturing a spider hiding inside a leaf but when i uploaded it to the computer the photo took on more of a form of a face in the leaf , hope you can see it too or am i just hallucinating ???

Kerry - Perth, Western Australia.

dna1972's picture

Cool Shoop. I see two things actually. A face that looks like a crim, kind of like chopper reid with that big moustache and the whole curled leaf reminds me of the head of a praying mantis.


I live in the most populated area of Australia. (Kings Cross/ Potts point). In the city there is a lot of pizza and a lot of mynahs. I saw a mynah bird (indian) pick up a piece of pizza crust (stiff as a board) from a discarded pizza box on top of the garbage bin on the side of the road and drop it into the path of an oncoming car. The car ran over it and the bird and his partner dived in and started munching on the larger crumbs. Then I noticed there were three of four other spots close by where there was crushed pizza crust in the road. This is not a busy road we are talking about. Well busy compared to bush and suburban roads but it is a backstreet here. Even though I was on my way to work I stopped and watched and witnessed them do it again. This is clever behaviour.

I live in a flat and when I was living on the 4th floor. I walked out into my kitchen after a shower and saw one cheeky bugger on the counter filching crumbs. Needless to say he wasn't there for long and bolted out the open window. It is a rather small window too. They are crafty.

No aliens or choppers unfortunately (although filching crumbs was a transportable offence when I was a lad.)

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

No wonder indian mynahs are such survivors. They are indeed flying rats.


I know a lot of people dislike them (indian Mynas) but I think they get a bum rap.  Fair enough they are an introduced species (like me and most of us). They have become quite common because they adapt well to human cityscaped areas. Thats our fault.

I find them to be quite a mild mannered bird as well as being quite adventurous and therefore amusing. 

The Noisy myna is the one that causes all the trouble, even though it is a native it chases any other bird type away with it's aggressive behaviour and constant barrage of collective attacks. I have seen them attacking Kookaburras, Ravens, Currawongs and any other bird type that comes along especially ones smaller than themselves. They are fearless and relentless. 

In conclusion I consider they are just trying to survive in a tough old world like the rest of us. They can't help where they were born.

As far as being flying rats... well I quite like rats too.

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

Of course you are entitled to your opinion richman but "a lot of people dislike them" for good reason I think. They displace native birds, principally by destroying their nests, taking them over and breeding prolifically. I doubt whether native birds would consider them mild mannered. Opportunistic and bullying would be my description.

Araminta's picture

In my opinion both of you have some points. Yes it’s our doing that the introduced species of birds are bullying our shy native birds and chasing them out of their habitat. Although there have been a few programs run to eradicate the Common Mynahs, all more or less successful. But there is definitely something we can do." Revegetation is the solution". I can tell you, I live in an area where you still find a lot of native bush. (Sadly though more and more disappears because people slash and burn) I don’t have any Mynahs, but driving into Gembrook, only some kilometres down the road, you will find them everywhere. There are found in build up areas with little or no native vegetation. To me it’s quite obvious, we should plant more native vegetation to recreate what was once their habitat. .



I hear what you are saying night parrot. I have heard the same thing being repeated a lot but have yet to witness any events to verify these common claims of bullying. Obviously you are right about them crowding other birds out as they are prolific and successful breeders. In the Sydney there are quite a few parks and some quite large ones. Once inside the parkland you rarely see indian mynas there but you do see lots of noisys chasing anything that comes near. 

The area I grew up in had lots of bushland and plenty of small birds, finches, wrens, silvereyes that used to visit our garden but as the people moved in and planted their gardens full of exotics and made lawns, the birds went deeper into the bush. Except the ones who adapt and the city birds like the myna and pigeon. 

In my experience, and similar to what M-L says. I haven't seen any Indian Mynas away from city areas at all. The only place I see them is in the towns and cities. As far as displacing nesting sites. I know that small birds don't find city lodgings as there are inadequate native vegetation and nice thick thickets. There is also the problem in built up areas of the human pet pest, namely dogs and cats. Native animals don't like them or their smell and I am starting to get sick of the sight of dogs. (why people think they should have a dog in the city is beyond me but that is another gripe all together)

From my personal observation noisys are much more of a bully to other birds than the indian and are found further from the cities.  

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

When we talk about cities, are we including leafy and outer suburbs with bush fringes? And small communities eg the one-horse towns of FNQ? Native birds, even rarer species, can thrive in these areas if given half a chance. A half-chance they are denied when indian mynahs move in.

Woko's picture

Hi richman. If you're interested in finding out more about how to manage noisy miners could I suggest you do a search on this site. There have been lots of past discussion about the whys & wherefores of noisy miner domination.

As for common mynas, the sooner there is a foolproof eradication method in Australia the better. This species has been a disaster for almost any native birdlife attempting to survive or establish itself in many Australian towns & cities. Their numbers are a clear indication of the value our nation as a whole places on its native birdlife.

GregL's picture

From my own observations I feel that towns and cities are inimical to native fauna, with some exceptions. I know that much native fauna lives in cities, but it is on a one-way ticket to local extinction. Over time cities get more development, traffic, buildings, pollution; and native wildlife goes into decline. Australia is still fairly early in this process but in many parts of Europe you see how bad things can get. Unless you can get rid of traffic, stop the ground being paved over, stop the development and pollution, there isn't much hope.  Blaming exotic plants and vegetation avoids the real problem of human development.

Night Parrot
Night Parrot's picture

I don't think we should just resign ourselves to extinction of fauna within cities. I think governments, councils and local communities are getting smarter about resurrecting and preserving the natural environment in cities. We ourselves need to be vigilant in protecting our parklands and waterways and make our voices heard in the battle against pollution and uncaring development. A hard battle but not a futile one.


Thanks Woko, I have done a lot of reading on the subject and not only on this site, I also spend every weekend in the bush or at least visiting large parklands to do my own research nevertheless I like the opinions. 

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