The Common Myna and the Noisy Miner, despite their dissimilarities, are often confused due to their similar names. One, a south-eastern Asian invasive species from the Starling family, the other, a native Australian honeyeater. Despite their differences, both birds share a worrisome commonality - they threaten the native Australian birdlife.
The Common Myna, among the world’s most invasive species, was brought to Australia in the early 1860s, to control pests in Victoria's market gardens. However, it quickly adapted to human environments, spreading along the East Coast and displacing numerous native species that once thrived in our urban areas.
Conversely, the Noisy Miner, a native Australian honeyeater, forms small to medium-sized flocks notorious for their incessant fights, squabbles, and loud screaming matches. These native birds, often overlooked for their environmental impact, have, until recently, coexisted harmoniously with other woodland birds. However, their preference for the same environments favoured by Australians—backyards, parks, and gardens with sparse vegetation—has led to their dominance, resulting in the disappearance of many species like fairywrens, spinebills, and other honeyeaters from these areas.
Interestingly, the native Miners, as it is residing in vegetated areas, have caused more significant damage and a reduction in birdlife diversity than the urban Myna.
These two birds, starkly different in origin and looks, both significantly contribute to the reduction of birdlife biodiversity. Recognizing their impact is crucial. In the next post, I'll delve into potential ways to mitigate their damage.
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