Information

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The Common Myna is a member of starlings family native to Asia. Myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments. The Common Myna is an important motif in Indian culture and appears both in Sanskrit and Prakrit literature.

The Common Myna is readily identified by the brown body, black hooded head and the bare yellow patch behind the eye. The bill and legs are bright yellow. There is a white patch on the outer primaries and the wing lining on the underside is white. The male and female are similar and birds are usually seen in pairs.

It is a species of bird native to Asia with its initial home range spanning from Iran, the entire South Asian subcontinent, including Pakistan, India, Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka; as well as Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Myanmar, to Malaysia, peninsular Thailand, Indo-China and China.

Common Mynas are believed to pair for life. They breed through much of the year depending on the location, building their nest in a hole in a tree or wall. They breed from sea-level to the Himalayas.

The normal clutch size is upto 6 eggs. The Asian Koel lays eggs in Myna nest sometimes. Nesting material used by mynas include twigs, roots, tow and rubbish. Mynas have been known to use tissue paper, tin foil and sloughed off snake-skin.

The Common Myna uses the nests of woodpeckers, parakeets, etc. and easily takes to nest boxes; it has been recorded evicting the chicks of previously nesting pairs by holding them in the beak and later sometimes not even using the emptied nest boxes. This aggressive behaviour is considered to contribute to its success as an invasive species.

Like most starlings, the Common Myna is omnivorous. It feeds on insects, grasshoppers, crustaceans, reptiles, small mammals, seeds, grain and fruits and discarded waste from human habitation. It forages on the ground among grass for insects, and especially for grasshoppers. It however feeds on a wide range of insects, mostly picked from the ground. It is a cross-pollinator of flowers. It walks on the ground with occasional hops and is an opportunistic feeder on the insects disturbed by grazing cattle as well as fired grass fields.

Photos

Common Myna, ARAI
Common Mynas, ARAI

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