The window-cleaning bird

Our house windows are broken into sections by wooden frames, so local birds don’t get the urge to fly into them, mistaking the reflection of trees for the real thing.

I admit to being slap-dash about house cleaning, and especially window cleaning. Such interesting things happen among the cobwebs – moths, insects and spiders, for instance.

On this lovely spring, a couple of noisy miners (Manorina melanocephala) have decided to do me a favour and flutter at the windows, cleaning up the cobwebs. Their bills are completely covered with the soft white web. Thanks, girls, very kind of you!

Noisy miner taking a break from cleaning windows

Realistically, they are probably lining their nests with the webs. Breeding in colonies, the females construct the nest and both sexes feed and care for the young. They’ll breed several times in a good season.

These birds commonly pick at my thyme and marjoram plants, taking away snippets. I wonder if these pungent herbs repel mites in the nest.