Common ("Indian") Myna (Introduced)
Family: Sturnidae (Starlings and allies, 3 species in Australia)
Size: 23-25 cm
Distribution: Within about 100-200 km of the coasts of eastern Australia and VIC, around areas settled by people.
Status: Locally Abundant to Common
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest, Common Indian Myna Web Site
The Common Myna (usually called the Indian Myna) is a well known introduced bird of urban and settled areas. Some peope say it is regarded as Australia's number one feral enemy (which is a large claim considering the damage done by some of the other main feral species like the red fox and the cane toad). The indian myna takes over nesting hollows that would otherwise be used by native birds and small mammals, and they prey on nests of other birds. They are often seen around garbage bins and garbage in general.
Although it is easily the most hated bird in Australia and many other countries, in India, where they come from originally (and where they belong), people like them. In India the Common Indian Myna is called the “Farmer’s Friend” because it eats insects that destroy crop plants. The name myna comes from a Hindi word, “maina” meaning a bird of the starling family, Sturnidae, to which mynas belong. Mynas in India are also regarded as symbols of undying love, because they often pair for life and maina is also sometimes used as a term of endearment for young girls.
Photo: Lake Parramatta, NSW. High Resolution (2413 x 1858).
Photo: Lake Parramatta, NSW. High Resolution (1636 x 2394).
Photo: Lake Parramatta, NSW.
Some Birdwatching Resources
NEW: The Australian Bird Guide, by Peter Menkhorst (Author), Danny Rogers (Author), Rohan Clarke (Author), Jeff Davies (Illustrator), Peter Marsack (Illustrator), Kim Franklin (Illustrator).
Revised Edition 2019. Original edition published 2017. This is a newer Australian bird field guide that I just got recently. It may be the best one out of all of them now. Though I still like the pictures better in "Simpson and Day" in terms of their artistic value, and that they just look more interesting to me than the drawings in any other bird field guide I've seen. This one has more "clinical" looking pictures. They are coloured artist-rendered drawings, not photographs. Though the more "clinical" look is meant to be more anatomically accurate, and better for identification.
The rest of the book is wonderful, with different coloured regions on the range maps, and very high quality information overall. It was the winner in its category for an Australian Book Industry Awards (ABIA) award for book of the year in 2018.
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