Family Honeyeaters (Meliphagidae)

Least Concern

Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala)


French: Méliphage bruyant German: Weißstirn-Schwatzvogel Spanish: Mielero chillón

Gracula melanocephala


, 1801,

Nova Hollandia = region of Port Jackson, New South Wales, Australia


Occasionally hybridizes with M. flavigula. Geographical variation on mainland apparently clinal, N populations tending to be slightly paler above (with little or no yellow-olive wash, more contrasting blackish and white tones) than those in S (more pronounced yellow-olive wash); also, wing becomes progressively longer from N to S (although one study found no significant regional differences in lengths of wing, tail and culmen). Recently proposed race lepidota (C New South Wales) merely reflects part of clinal variation; titaniota (E Cape York Peninsula) appears to be more distinctive and may merit recognition, but further study required. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. m. melanocephala (Latham, 1801) – E & SE Australia from NE Queensland (E base of Cape York Peninsula) S and W to inland slopes and plains of Great Divide, to SE South Australia (E from Mt Lofty Ranges) and Victoria.
  • M. m. leachi (Mathews, 1912) – N & E Tasmania.
  • Descriptive notes

    24–28 cm; male 40–91 g, female 46·7–74 g and unsexed 54–90 g (nominate), male 70–87 g, one female 72 g and unsexed 64·1–94... read more


    Noisy, with complex repertoire. Detailed study described twelve adult vocalizations, and dawn song... read more


    Mainly dry open sclerophyll forests and woodlands, especially grassy associations with few or no... read more

    Food and feeding

    Primarily invertebrates and nectar; also fruit, seeds, occasionally small vertebrates (frogs, reptiles). Invertebrates mainly insects, but... read more


    Recorded in all months, with peak apparently in winter-spring; in SE Queensland mostly Jul–Nov, possibly slightly later farther S;... read more


    Sedentary. Some limited dispersal to and from colonies.  

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common; one of the commonest native birds in cities and towns. Recorded densities of 7·8–10·4 birds/ha in SE... read more

    Recommended citation

    Higgins, P., Christidis, L. & Ford, H. (2020). Noisy Miner (Manorina melanocephala). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 27 January 2020).