Aussie Bird Count

What Bird is That? Myna and Miner

Tuesday, 3 October 2023

  • Estimated reading time 5min

How to tell the difference between commonly confused birds: Myna and Miner

In the leadup to this year’s Aussie Backyard Bird Count, our very own National Public Affairs Manager Sean Dooley will be talking us through how to tell the difference between commonly confused backyard birds in a series of educational videos.

In this video, we’re learning about two of Australia’s most common – and most controversial – backyard visitors, the Noisy Miner and the Common Myna.

The Noisy Miner is a native Australian honeyeater, while the Common Myna, although similar in appearance, is an unrelated member of the starling family and an introduced species.

Put your knowledge to the test, register to take part in the 2023 Aussie Bird Count.

See below for the full video transcript. 


Sean Dooley (00:00):

You see a miner and I see a miner, but are we seeing the same miner? In Australia, we have two types of miner. We have the native honeyeater, M-I-N-E-R, which in the Eastern States is the Noisy miner, and it’s the second most commonly seen bird in our Aussie backyard bird count across the country.

In Perth, you have a similar species called the Yellow-Throated Miner. And the other miner, the common or Indian Myna, M-Y-N-A is an introduced bird found in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland. And it’s a bird with a bad reputation. Both species are aggressive towards other birds, so it’s really important for us to know which of the miners you are seeing.

Sean Dooley (00:47)
Both of the miners have black heads with yellow beaks, yellow skin around the eyes, and yellow legs. But the big difference is the body color of a Common Myna is a brownish color, whereas the body color of a Noisy Miner, the native honeyeater is gray. Also, the Common Myna has a white patch on the wings, something that’s visible even in flight, so they’re pretty easy to distinguish and they also sound a little bit different.

The Noisy Miner has a lot of piping and chipping sort of notes, whereas the Common Myna has a song that’s a bit more rollicking, a bit more rolling, and more of a churning kind of sound to it. They’re both in our cities and they both can occur in the same places, and hopefully now, you’ve got the tip on how to identify your miner from your myna.

Join in the fun and register to take part in the 2023 Aussie Bird Count.