I rescued a miner bird from the swimming pool the other day. I heard it splashing in the water, trying to hang on to the lip just below the overhanging edge. If I’m not around, and the hoses for the pool cleaner are not in the water (they weren’t) that’s a death sentence. But I did hear, and I went and scooped the little creature out with my hand. It’s warm this time of year. The bird just needed some time to dry off then it could rejoin its extended family. A few of them flew over to see what the rescuee was squawking about. I like to think they knew it was me and told it off for getting wet.
Ah yes, getting wet. Although I have a bird bath next to the swimming pool, the miners seem to prefer taking their chances with the big blue pool. And most of the time, they pull it off.
But not always. I rescued this one in the nick of time.
It was late in the day and rather than leave it for the predators to find in the night, I put it into our very large shed to dry off overnight. Next morning it was fighting fit, and squawking at the window to get outside. When it continued to ignore the gaping door (big enough to fit a car) I went and caught it in my hands and took it outside myself. Looking back, that was a huge vote of trust. We’ve had miner birds fly into the shed and been unable to find their way out and we could not catch them. It’s an enormous space, with a mezzanine floor and plenty of places to hide, so the fact this little bird allowed me to catch him in my hands was… awesome.
Australian miner birds are often mistaken for the feral Indian mynah bird. Really, the only comparisons are the yellow eye and the family behaviour. Mynahs are introduced members of the sparrow family. Noisy miners are indigenous honeyeaters. And yes, they are very, very noisy when there’s a predator around. Even so, I like them.