Identification of Indian Myna - Introduced versus Native

 

 

 

Behaviors and Habits of the Indian Myna

The Indian Myna's behaviour is seasonal. As they start earlier than native birds they form breeding pairs from       September to March and can raise multiple clutches per year, with 4-5 chicks per clutch. when the juveniles are ready to fly they join larger groups and move to communal roosts where they can number in the  hundreds.

They split up in the mornings, travelling in small family groups to look for food and   often visit regular feeding sites.

Mynas are well adapted to urban areas where feeding sites are plentiful.

They are often seen resting on power lines and prowling shops and schools. They nest in the gaps in city buildings and petrol stations, air conditioners, and in house roofs and gutters. They take over nest boxes and displace native birds and animals. They invade back yard gardens, feeding from grevilleas and seed put out to attract native birds. They particularly like left-over pet food.

 

Stopping The Invasion

Mynas thrive where there is easy access to food:

• Seed for native birds will attract Indian Mynas and they will quickly dominate your garden. If you see Mynas at your bird feeder or in your garden, stop putting out birdseed immediately.

• Feed pets inside, or if that is not possible, put pet food inside during the day.

• Feed chickens and ducks in a secure pen so Mynas can’t get to the food.

• If you feed goats or horses, it is best to stay with the animals while they are feeding and clean up spilled or leftover pellets or grain.

 

Breaking the cycle:

Mynas nest in tree hollows, roofs, exotic trees and the dead fronds of palms. To break the cycle:

• Block holes in roofs and eaves.

• Keep palms well trimmed.

• Bird mite infestations can cause severe itching and rashes – if you have a Myna nest in your roof, gutters, a backyard tree or a bird box in your garden, you should destroy it before the eggs hatch. Put the nest in a garbage bag in your garbage bin.

 

Indian Mynas and your surrounding Areas

Reduced biodiversity

Mynas are extremely aggressive, competing with native wildlife for scarce resources. They evict animals and birds from their nests, attack chicks of other species and breed in tree hollows rendering them un-useable by other wildlife. This is of particular concern, as approximately 15% of our land-dwelling vertebrate species depend on tree hollows for shelter or breeding throughout some stage of their life.

Reduced aesthetics

Indian mynas form communal roosts which can consist of hundreds of birds. The noise and fouling around nesting and roost sites can be considerable and in public places such as schools and shopping centres, also pose a health risk.

Damage to Homes

Myna nests can block Rain water drains on roofs and gutters, often causing internal water damage and blockage to buildings. The Indian myna can also Infest you roof and insulation with mites.

Disease vector

Indian Mynas are carriers of bird mite which can cause severe itching and dermatitis. They also carry other avian diseases such as psittacosis and salmonellosis which can potentially impact on human health.