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Common Myna

From Opus

Alternative names: Indian Mynah; House Myna; Locust Starling

Photo © by bgopalCoorg, India, July 2005
Photo © by bgopal
Coorg, India, July 2005
Acridotheres tristis


[edit] Identification

25cm (9-10 in). A fairly large, stocky Myna.

  • Brownish plumage
  • Black hood
  • Bare yellow eye-patch
  • Very short frontal crest
  • Dark brown wing with large white wing patches, obvious in flight
  • White vent and centre of belly
  • Yellow legs and bill
Photo © by AJDHAl Khobar, Saudi Arabia, August 2006
Photo © by AJDH
Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, August 2006

Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller and browner.

[edit] Distribution

Found from Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan) south to Iran, Afghanistan, almost the entire Indian Subcontinent and east to Burma, South China (Yunnan and Hainan), Thailand, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and Singapore.
Has been introduced widely elsewhere, including Florida, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Brunei, Sumatra, Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Russia (around Moscow and in Trans-Baikal region), St Helena and Ascension Island, Tenerife, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa (and many other small Pacific islands), Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, Maldives and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Common to abundant in its range.

[edit] Taxonomy

Nesting in neighborhood garden, the pair came frequently for a drinkPhoto © by Alok TewariDelhi, India, June-2015
Nesting in neighborhood garden, the pair came frequently for a drink
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, June-2015

[edit] Subspecies

Two subspecies recognized[1]:

  • A. t. melanosternus in Sri Lanka
  • A. t. tristis in the rest of the range

[edit] Habitat

Typically in open woodland, cultivation and around habitation, also in towns and cities. Avoids forest. Occurs up to 3000m in the Himalayas, up to 1525m in southeast Asia.

[edit] Behaviour

Forms communal roosts in trees, sometimes with thousands of birds. May roost with other species like Javan Myna, Asian Glossy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Common Starling, Rosy Starling or Crows, Parakeets and Sparrows.

[edit] Diet

Omnivorous. Feeds on insects, frogs, fish, geckos, other small lizards, eggs and nestlings, mice, carrion, worms, snails, spiders, seeds, fruit and nectar. The generic name Acridotheres means "grasshopper hunter".
Forages singly or in pairs, mostly on the ground.

[edit] Breeding

JuvenilePhoto © by the late RookeryHavelock North, New Zealand, Deember 2009
Photo © by the late Rookery
Havelock North, New Zealand, Deember 2009

Breeding season differs through range, breeds all year in India. Monogamous, belived to form pairs for life. Nests solitary. The nest is placed in tree holes, particularly palms but also in other nooks and crannies (including buildings). The normal clutch is 4 - 6 eggs.

[edit] Movement

A resident species.

[edit] Vocalisation

The song includes croaks, squawks, chirps, clicks and whistles and it often fluffs its feathers and bobs its head in singing. The Common Myna screeches warnings to its mate or other birds in cases of predators in proximity.

Listen in an external program
Dwarahat, Dist. Almora, Uttarakhand Himalayas, Alt. 5200 ft above MSL, India, April-2015.
Calls given by a pair carrying pine-needles to a hole in the wall, to be used as a nesting site.

Listen in an external program
Dwarahat, Dist. Almora, Uttarakhand Himalayas, Alt. 5200 ft above MSL, India, April-2017.
Communicating calls between two individuals after Sunset.
Both Recordings by Alok Tewari

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507

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