Rainbows and miners

Noisy Miners are large honeyeaters renowned for their aggressive behaviour towards other birds, especially when guarding nectar sources. They will actively chase off small birds such as pardalotes, thornbills and other honeyeaters, forcing them out of their territories to the extent that miners are the only birds remaining. I was interested to watch their behaviour when confronted with hordes of Musk (and a few Little) Lorikeets on the flowering Yellow Gums at Strangways recently. It seems the large numbers of lorikeets had caused the miners to ‘give up’ and retreat to the fringes of the trees allowing the lorikeets free access to a precious resource. There was still plenty of food for the miners and perhaps they had decided that the invasion was only temporary and it was not worth expending too much energy on maintaining their monopoly.


Noisy Miner, Strangways, 14th June 2015.


Noisy Miners are native honeyeaters – they are largely confined to fragmented roadside remnants around Newstead.

Close inspection revealed a couple of unusual companions – two Rainbow Lorikeets, the least common of the four local species. Rainbow Lorikeets are common in Castlemaine but only sighted occasionally in and around Newstead.


Rainbow Lorikeet in the Yellow Gums.


Strikingly different to our other local lorikeets.

3 responses to “Rainbows and miners

  1. Love the rainbow lorikeets, Geoff. Tim Low didn’t speak affectionately about noisy miners in ‘Where Song Began’. He described them as a huge threat to smaller birds.

  2. Hi Geoff
    Can’t say I’ve noticed many Rainbows in Castlemaine, if there are, they don’t frequent Greenhill Ave

  3. Hi George – thanks for the reply. You are much more familiar with Castlemaine so I’ll happily bow to better local knowledge. On reflection I can recall seeing a few in place like near the Railway Station but not in any great numbers. More so in Bendigo.

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