Wednesday, 9 August 2006

Noisy Minor with obsessive behaviour

For close on 12 months now at a couple of our neighbours and our own family homes in Melbourne we have all endured what could be described as something equating to ‘Chinese water torture’ at the hands (beak) of a Noisy Minor (Manorina melanocephala) with obsessive behaviour. This individual bird has developed the habit of pecking on every window in our collective houses … in its own mind attacking another bird which is in fact its own reflection.

At first we thought the bird’s behaviour had something to do with its breeding cycle so decided not to act … hoping that in time it would ‘get over it’.

After 3 months or so we tried different strategies designed to reduce the reflection clarity in the windows, such as smearing Ajax on the windows and also covering them with newspaper. All of this activity has been to no avail.

In the past week or so our family decided that ‘enough was enough’ … and I was the lucky one given the task of putting in place a permanent solution.

I contacted the RSPCA ( for guidance and was informed that they do not deal with these types of issues as the bird is not in duress. They did, however, refer me to Nigel’s Animal Rescue … who is one of their preferred contacts.

I called the Nigel’s Animal Rescue ( mobile number 0427533083 and spoke to Nigel. His own family has had similar experience to what we are going through with a Noisy Minor. They, it seems, were more fortunate in that the offending bird was only obsessing on one particular window and after a while ceased attacking it after they covered it with newspaper. In light of our situation Nigel offered to trap, relocate and release our feathered friend. Give that the bird goes to a great number of different windows it could take quite a while for the capture to occur as the bird needs to be attracted to the place where a trap is located and become accustomed to both the feeding routine and the presence of the set trap.

Noisy Minors will eat bread. Nigel suggested he would use an ‘Ecotrap Urban’ multipurpose trap manufactured in Australia by Ecotrap. These cost approximately $400 but are both durable and humane, and can be used to trap anything from small birds through to wallabies. The Ecotrap website ( has some excellent footage of how their traps work.

I have decided the first step is to get our Noisy Minor accustomed to eating bread … and will see what unfolds from there!


Ian Y said...

I have a similar problem in Melbourne with a noisy minor. It attacks any car that pulls up outside our home, even with someone still in the car! It also attacks our windows, to the extent of clinging to the fly sceen and trying to peck through it. Our cars are a mess in no time, with very fine scratches in the duco, and mess over the glass, not to mention the poo!(Don't buy a dark coloured car if you have an aggressive noisy minor around!)

I will try the bread trick and see whether I can entice it to a trap. As you say, enough is enough, and somthing has to be done to give us some peace and quiet and cleaner cars. If I have any success I will let you know.

Anonymous said...

In Melbourne, we have a situation where our cat is constantly attacked at very close range right outside our front door. Wailing loudly like 10 babies crying, they are persistant.
Any remedies for scaring off these pests??????

Phillip Diprose said...

Thanks for your question, Vince
In the end the Noisy Minor that I referred to in this blog disappeared, much to our relief. From what I gather you have one advantage over us in that there is some predictability with the timing of your bird's attacks. I'd have thought that this would help in the likelihood of capturing the pest. Just a thought. I hope your cat is OK.

Phillip Diprose said...

I was told that a lady had some sucess in deterring Noisy Minors from attacking windows by sticking cut-out images of cats on the inside of the windows. Novel idea ... but would be worth a go.