Moving a Noisy Miner bird nest

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Nature Girl
Moving a Noisy Miner bird nest

A few days ago I made the decision to relocate a Noisy Miner nest with 2 babies. I accept that it is unadvisable to do so but most advice relates to it being in your garden and avoiding the spot until birds have vacated. In this instance the nest was in a small footpath tree (1.5m high). We live opposite a school and a main entrance to the school and the tree is close to the entrance. I know birds will often choose the same spot to nest and there have been nests in that tree before and I have let nature do its thing. This year though the area on the school side was having major pipework done involving all manner of earthmoving equipment and many construction workers and the shrubs that they would normally find shelter in had all been removed to dig trenches. Each morning I'd go across and speak to the workmen asking them to please take care around the nest (which they did to my surprise!). Nevertheless, the activity increased and I knew the babies were close to leaving the nest so on the weekend I made the decision to cut the branch and transfer it across to our garden. I stood holding the branch until the adult birds were swooping me and one flew into the branch eyeballing me as I walked slowly across the street. I handed the branch over the fence to my husband and we tied it to the exact same tree in our garden (Ivory Curl). I then sat on my porch watching until the adult birds found the nest and started feeding their babies. I knew that if my plan didn't work I would tie the branch back in its original tree. To my delight the babies have thrived and today they left their nest. The biggest one flew across the road and is high up in a tree above the works and is being looked after well. The smaller one is still in our garden but flitting around and being fed and I imagine he may also fly across to the family. I do believe in not interfering too much but I knew the babies had no chance of survival where they were so I gave them a helping hand! I'm so happy they survived. The school advise they will be replanting shrubs so the next babies will at least have somewhere to shelter.

birdie
birdie's picture

Well done!!! How lovely of you to go to that trouble to save some Noisy Miners...their chicks are very  cute aren't they?  I know what you mean by getting swooped by them... they are terrible ha ha .

Sunshine Coast Queensland

Nature Girl

Yes, they do love to swoop! To me they are the warning signal birds that I rely on to tell me if something is wrong. The school backs on to a protected wetlands and I always know if something is wrong over there (or even in my own garden) and I will go across and check. They are pretty much always in the know! One day they alerted me to a green snake swinging in a tree that I didn't see! I respect them for that!

birdie
birdie's picture

Yes definitely... they are the warning alarm for all the gardens.  They tell me when the pythons are around, possums, Cats and birds of prey!!!

Sunshine Coast Queensland

darinnightowl
darinnightowl's picture

Thanks for the story , I believe they also call them soldier bird because they are always on guard.

See it!  Hear it!

Mid-North Coast NSW

Woko
Woko's picture

Nature Girl, your wonderful story shows how sometimes we're faced with making risky decisions because we think the greater risk is to do nothing. In the case of you & the noisy miners it's worked out well. The other thing I like about your story is that you may well have introduced the pipe workers to a new way of working in a world where nature so often plays second fiddle. A pipe dream come true!

Nature Girl

A quick follow up about my baby Noisy Miners - the smaller of the two spent two days flitting around my garden visiting almost every shrub and tree and as I work from home I would check on him hourly throughout the day. Parents feeding him as well as his sibling across the road who I can hear chirping loudly. On Sunday the little guy made his escape from Alcatraz and with an adult bird in tow they flew across the road so he could join his sibling. Being smaller I guess he needed an extra day or two to muster the strength! He picked a good day being a Sunday and no school traffic. I stood on alert in case he didn't make it all the way across but he did fine. He landed in the dirt at the base of a huge gum tree and was trying to jump up the trunk with no luck. I gently picked him up and placed him as high up in a branch as I could reach and he was able to jump up to higher branches from there. My work is done! Both babies happy and healthy and chirping away. And yes, I too was very impressed by the workmen at how they listened to me and watched out for the nest and didn't fob me off as a "crazy lady"! It's probably something they've never given much thought to.

Araminta
Araminta's picture

That is one of the nicest stories I have heard in a long long time. Well done!!! And what a gorgeous photo. You might have to do it all again next time.

we have done the same with a possum nest when a tree had to be cut down to build a house. I carried the branch , the possum didn't like to be moved thoiugh, it jumped on my hand and bit me. Later it did go back into the nest.

M-L

Nature Girl

Thanks Araminta. Yes, I will keep an eye on the tree as no doubt they will nest there again. Thanks for the heads up about the possum. We have a boy brushtail (by the name of Scrat) who has decided that our garage is a lovely place to live. On one hand I love having him there as I know he is warm and safe from predators but on the other hand he is also very messy and is peeing on things and is a bit smelly! I might get my husband to build a nesting box and mount it to the outside of the garage near the opening where he gets in and hopefully he will relocate into the box without us incurring any injuries! He is very cute. He comes when I call him at night and I can handfeed him. He also ran up the stairs one night and gently nibbled at my bare toes which was a tense moment as I was hoping he wouldn't mistake them for food! Possibly he was just getting my scent?

Araminta
Araminta's picture

smileysmiley that is soooooo cute

M-L

Woko
Woko's picture

Nice one, Nature Girl. Giving a hand up to the young one may well have compensated for any ferocious felines or other neighbourhood nasties.

Nature Girl

Hi Skua, I love that you also decided to help them out. I believe that the more that humans encroach into nature's world that we owe it to them to give them a helping hand occasionally because what would be normal for them in a world without humans isn't possible as we have changed the whole dynamic. I do hope that your colony managed to find the nest where you relocated it. Hopefully they found it or if not they sometimes find abandoned nests of other birds that they make their own. It was probably a better time with there not being any babies. It sounds like you did everything correctly so I wouldn't worry too much. They are pretty resilient. I'm not an expert at all, I am simply very intuned to what's going on around me in mother nature. My neighbours across the road (as lovely as they are) wouldn't have a clue about what birds nest are where because they simply don't notice but I know where all the nests are and keep an eye on them, especially when they are on the footpath becuase when the little ones drop from the nest I pick them up and bring them into my garden (which is fully enclosed by a 6ft high timber fence) because it is much safer in my yard than out on the street until they get their flight strength. We have 4 cats but they are indoor cats who have access to a big cat run and are only allowed out in the garden when I have the time to walk around the yard with them (a fully supervised outing you could say!). They are NEVER allowed to leave our yard as I hold the protection of our wildlife as important as our 4 beautiful cats. We have a magpie couple who have been coming for years and bring their young each year and we can handfeed them and currently we have 4 adult Pied Butcher Birds and 2 juvenile ones that come and they all squark loudly on the porch for us to come out and feed them. Please let me know how it turns out but don't be too stressed if they didn't find it as I'm sure they found other accomodations. Thank you for helping them out though.

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