Bathing in danger

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.

Picture of a Noisy Miner Bird bathing

Thanks for the bath







But not always. I rescued this one in the nick of time.

Picture of a very wet bird

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.

5 thoughts on “Bathing in danger

  1. Soooz

    I’m so glad you manged to save him, Greta. I remember these and other birds preferring our pool (When we had one) It must appear as a small blue lake to them.

    How marvelous that this youngster trusted you that way. You obviously give off incredibly gentle vibes.

    1. Greta Post author

      Thanks Sooz. It’s USUALLY pretty easy to get them out of the pool. The locals know I won’t hurt them. I’ve only had one that panicked and tried to get away. But I rescued it anyway.

  2. Julia Barrett

    I absolutely love this post! So glad you saved the bird. He looks young. Your miner birds are either intrepid or not as bright as one would hope.
    I’m also glad nobody ate him while he was in your shed. You have loads of snakes there, right?

    1. Greta Post author

      Intrepid. Some of them use the bird bath but most go for the pool. They’re not the only ones. Blue-faced honeyeaters use the pool (they’re a much bigger bird) and so do the kookaburras.

      I suppose a snake was possible, but it’s not that sort of shed. More like a barn really – but it’s a workshop that doubles as a place to park a boat and trailer. I’ve only seen a couple of snakes in the yard in all the years we’ve lived here.

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