Indian Myna Bird
Yellow beak and eye patch, and brown body
Medium Size – 25 cm in height
Indian Myna birds are a medium sized bird, commonly found with a yellow beak and eye patch, and the body is brown and is closely associated with human habitation. In the evening, large groups of Indian 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. Indian Myna birds are accomplished scavengers, feeding on almost anything, including insects, fruits and vegetables, scraps, pets' food and even fledgling sparrows. Indian Myna birds 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 wish 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.
The Indian Myna is found along the east and south east coasts of Australia. Introduced in Melbourne from south east Asia between 1862 and 1872, it established quickly, with several other introductions occurring until the 1950's.
Indian Myna Birds are territorial and highly aggressive birds that compete with and displace native wildlife for habitat areas. They take over tree hollows and plug up nest sites they are not using, forcing possums and birds out and ejecting nestlings and eggs from their nests. They also compete with native fauna for food and habitat. Indian Myna birds can be an economic problem because they damage fruit and grain crops and their noise and smell can be annoying where they are in large numbers. Indian Mynas can also spread mites and they have the potential to spread disease to people and domestic animals. Indian Mynas become quite fearless of people if they are not hassled and can be a problem in outdoor eating areas by stealing food off people’s plates. There are a few records of Indian Mynas attacking people, but this is not common.
Indian Myna birds are an introduced species and so are not protected in any state of Australia. As they are feral birds, no permission is required to trap and dispose of them. However, obligations exist through relevant animal welfare legislation to treat and dispose of the birds humanely. Other methods would include: destruction of nesting sites and installing proofing / deterrents. Products such as netting (bird net, wire or mesh) are used to exclude Indian Mynas from an area. Bird spikes, wire coils, post and wire and electric systems can be used to prevent Indian Mynas from landing or roosting on building ledges and surfaces. Other methods include; scare devices such as a combination of audio or visual deterrents.
Photos and information are provided by GlobeAustralia.
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