Step into the captivating world of the common myna, a charismatic bird renowned for its adaptability, intelligence, and remarkable vocal abilities. In this article, we will explore its physical characteristics, habitat, diet, behaviors, breeding patterns, cultural significance, and unique traits. We will also touch upon other myna varieties and their differences.
The common myna (Acridotheres tristis) showcases distinctive physical attributes that make it easily recognizable. With a sleek body covered in glossy black feathers, complemented by striking yellow eyes and a vibrant yellow beak, this medium-sized bird exudes charm and elegance. Males are slightly larger and display longer and more pronounced crest feathers on the back of their heads, distinguishing them from females.
Habitat and Distribution
The common myna is widely distributed and can be found in various regions across Asia, including India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and parts of Southeast Asia. It has also been introduced to other parts of the world, such as Australia and parts of Africa and the Middle East. These adaptable birds thrive in diverse habitats, including urban areas, open woodlands, parks, and gardens. Their ability to adapt to different environments is a testament to their versatility.
Diet and Feeding Habits
The common myna has an omnivorous diet, consuming a wide range of food sources. It feeds on fruits, insects, seeds, and even small reptiles and amphibians. These birds have a strong beak that allows them to crack open seeds and extract the succulent pulp from fruits. They are also skilled foragers, scouring the ground for insects and small prey. While primarily feeding on natural food sources, common Mynas have been known to exhibit opportunistic behaviors, occasionally raiding other bird’s nests and preying on eggs and nestlings.
Breeding Patterns and Behaviors
During the breeding season, male common mynas engage in elaborate courtship displays to attract females. They showcase their distinctive plumage, and vocal prowess, and perform intricate flight patterns to demonstrate their suitability as mates. Once a pair is formed, they construct nests in tree hollows, crevices, or man-made structures like buildings or utility poles. Both male and female mynas take turns incubating the eggs and caring for the hatchlings. Their attentive parenting ensures the survival and growth of their offspring.
- The female lays a clutch of 4 to 6 eggs, sometimes larger.
- Both males and females take turns incubating the eggs.
- The incubation period lasts for about 14 to 18 days.
- The fledging period typically lasts around 18 to 20 days.
Watch the epic journey as we explore the quest to discover the nest, eggs, and adorable chicks of the common myna on our thrilling YouTube channel:
The Myna’s Talking Abilities
One of the most remarkable traits of the common myna is its exceptional talking ability. These birds possess a diverse repertoire of calls, including whistles, chirps, and melodic sounds. They are adept mimics, and capable of imitating various sounds, including human speech. Their talent for mimicry and clear vocalizations has earned them a reputation as extraordinary talking birds, delighting both bird enthusiasts and casual observers.
In various cultures, the common myna holds symbolic significance. It is considered a sacred bird in Hindu mythology, associated with deities like Goddess Saraswati and Lord Krishna. Their melodious calls have inspired poets and artists, finding their way into folklore and literature.
Other Myna Varieties
Sturnidae family contains 29 species of Mynas that are distributed among different genera.
There are 11 species of them belonging to the genus Acridotheres, which are the most closely related to the Common Myna.While the common myna is widely recognized, several other varieties exist, each with its own unique characteristics. Let’s explore a few notable ones:
Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa)
The hill myna showcases stunning physical features, with glossy black plumage, bright yellow eye patches, and a vivid orange beak and legs. It is celebrated as one of the best-talking birds among mynas, possessing exceptional mimicry skills and the ability to imitate human speech with remarkable clarity and precision.
Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)
The Javan myna shares some similarities with the common myna in terms of physical appearance. However, it can be distinguished by its frontal crest and overall blackish colors. While it may not possess the same level of talking ability as the common myna, the Javan is still capable of mimicking some sounds and calls, adding a touch of vocal charm to its presence.
Bank Myna (Acridotheres ginginianus)
The Bank Myna exhibits an elegant appearance with glossy grey feathers, a yellow beak, an intense brown-red iris, bare skin behind and below the eye, and striking chestnut wing patches. While not as renowned for its talking abilities as the common or hill myna, the Bank Myna possesses a pleasant melodious call that adds to its allure and enchantment.
The Negative Impact of the Common Myna
While the common myna is appreciated for its unique qualities, it is important to acknowledge its negative impact in certain regions where it has been introduced. Despite its charm, the common myna has earned a reputation as a bird that can cause problems and disruptions to local ecosystems and native bird species. Regrettably, it has also earned recognition as one of the top 300 Invasive birds in the world.
- Aggressively compete for nesting sites, displacing native birds.
- Damage crops by feeding on fruits, vegetables, and grains.
- Disrupt ecosystems and biodiversity.
- Transmit parasites and disease to new areas.