Monday, August 6, 2012

Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis)

  • 25cm. 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 center of belly.
  • Yellow legs and bill.
  • Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller and browner.

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), Ascension, St Helena, Tenerife, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa (and many other small Pacific islands), Madagascar, Comoros, Mascarenes, Seychelles, Chagos, Maldives and Andamans and Nicobars.
Common to abundant in its range.


Two subspecies recognized:
  1. A. t. melanosternus in Sri Lanka
  2. A. t. tristis in the rest of the range

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.


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.
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.
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.
A resident species.


Male bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Female bird in Matale, Sri Lanka

Male  and Female birds in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Juvenile  bird in Malabe, Colombo, Sri Lanka

Video of behavior of Common Myna

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