Meet the Common Myna

Common Myna

I think that it is correct to say that more people do not like the Common Myna than those that like them. Personally, I do not like them and try unsuccessfully to discourage them from my garden. I would not do anything to harm them, but I chase them away whenever I can.

Different name, same bird

Common Myna’s, previously known as Indian Myna’s, do not occur naturally in South Africa. They were introduced many years ago when labourers were shipped in from India. They flourished in Durban and have spread to many parts of South Africa since then.

These birds are bullies at bird feeders, although they are mainly attracted to those with bread on offer. They will continually chase away most other birds until they have had their full. They tend to visit in pairs, and you will often see rival pairs squabbling with each other. During the day Myna’s will often be seen in pairs or small flocks. At night they gather in their hundreds to roost in a chosen tree. I feel sorry for the unfortunate people they live next to one of these trees as the din, and mess, is horrific.

Where does the Common Myna nest?

If you think that Myna’s are aggressive at feeding stations, then you will be amazed at what they get up to during the breeding season. They look for any cavity or other suitable nest site available. If it is occupied with the chicks or eggs of another bird, they will throw them out the nest. After destroying the nest occupants, they may not even use it.

Quite often they will make their nest under the eaves of your house. They used to love making their nests inside the cylindrical tunnel visors of traffic lights until a new style with no bottom was introduced many years ago. In South Africa they nest between September and December and 4 to 5 eggs are laid.

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