The Common Myna is an introduced species that is commonly confused with the native honeyeater, the Noisy Miner due to their similar common name.
The voice is a collection of varied calls and chatter ranging from mellow whistles to harsh, grating churrs. The noise from large groups of Common Mynas can be deafening. Bird call recorded by: Srushti Bokil
The Common Myna is brown with a black head. It has a yellow bill, legs and bare eye skin. In flight it shows large white wing patches. The Common Myna is a member of the starling family and is also known as the Indian Myna or Indian Mynah.
The Common Myna is found along the east and south-east coasts of Australia. Introduced in Melbourne from southern Asia between 1862 and 1872, it established quickly and in cities in other states until the 1950s.
The Common Myna is closely associated with human habitation.
In the evening, large groups of Common Mynas gather in communal roosts, mainly in the non-breeding season, in roof voids, bridges, and large trees, and numbers can reach up to several thousands.
One of the most readily recognised birds in urban areas of eastern Australia, the Common Myna is also increasingly familiar to country folk as well.
Introduced from Asia to combat agricultural pests, mynas were slow to expand their range initially, but they eventually spread into rural areas, where they have thrived in paddocks and along roadsides.
These days their numbers are so large that the chorus of raucous calling by thousands of birds at favoured roosting sites can be deafening, and heard from hundreds of metres away.
They can be physically aggressive during breeding season and will take over nesting hollows from other birds, including native parrots.
Common Mynas are accomplished scavengers, feeding on almost anything, including insects, fruits and vegetables, scraps, pets’ food and even fledgling sparrows.
Common Mynas mate for life. During the breeding season there is usually considerable competition for nesting sites. Favoured locations are in the walls and ceilings of buildings, making these birds a nuisance to humans. Nests are also placed in tree hollows, which are used by native birds. Nests are quite messy and consist of a variety of materials. Leaves, grasses, feathers and assorted items of rubbish are common materials.
Violent battles often erupt between occupants of nesting sites and the couple that wishes to evict them. Each partner grapples with its opposite number and contestants drop to the ground secured in each other’s claws. Bills are jabbed ruthlessly at the opponent. Finally, the defeated couple leaves to search for another site.
Clutch size is 3 eggs. Breeding season is from October to March.