One of the most common birds in Centennial Parklands is the Noisy Miner – a native honeyeater that spends most of the time foraging through flowers and blossoms in trees and bushes for nectar. To ensure a balanced diet, the 'Miner' also eats the sugary excretions of sapsucking insects which provide an essential source of protein.
The Miner is a mostly grey bird with a whitish forehead, black crown and cheeks and a yellow bill. There is an area of bare yellow skin behind the eye and a wash of pale yellow on the wing. The underparts are grey with darker scallops on the breast and the dark tail has a whitish tip.
The Miner is a colonial species and is very aggressive towards other birds in their territory. Even much larger birds are not safe around them and can expect to be mobbed by a flock of angry Miners. A few loud calls let all the other Miners in the area know that there is an intruder and in no time there is a noisy gang moving through the trees, all calling to each other and diving at the unlucky intruder.
Noisy Miners also have a very useful alarm call which is sounded when there is a bird of prey overhead. They emit a loud strident 'pee pee pee' which alerts other Miners to take cover. This is useful because it can make the alert bird watcher aware of the presence of a bird of prey.
The Miner breeding season starts in July and ends around December. They build a bowl of twigs, bark, leaves and cobwebs, lining it with softer material. While the nest is generally very well hidden in a tree or bush, I'm sure you will have no trouble finding a Noisy Miner in the Parklands. In fact they might find you first.