Common Birds of India

Indian Myna.(Acridotheres tristis)

 

 

 

Indian Myna.(Acridotheres tristis)

 

-RagooRao

 

 

This month I have chosen the common Myna for the readers. The Myna being a familiar bird to any Indian is a common sight in both rural and urban areas.

 

 

A brown bird with a yellow beak and yellow eye patches and legs, slightly bigger than a bulbul but much smaller than a dove is our common Indian Myna. This bird is familiar in both urban and rural areas.  A large white patch is seen on the wing sides specially when the bird is foraging on the ground. The tail tips are also white.  These birds are found all over the country.  Their cacophony is well known while they are roosting in their familiar tall trees on avenues and even on trees bordering busy traffic roads  .Until their pecking order is achieved,   the birds will be noisily  trying to take on the best roosting places.  Large flocks always roost on the same trees regularly at dusk and at the break of dawn they all go their way. Usually found in pairs and often in flocks, both sexes look alike.

Mynas are omnivorous, foraging on many fruits, earth worms, grass hoppers, kitchen scraps and anything edible. They are a familiar sight while moving lawns in urban areas looking for the insects disturbed, to prey on them. In rural areas, they tag behind the farmers ploughing their fields looking for earth earthworms.

 

Mynas are very vary birds and the slightest noise sends them away. When they take off they give out  a peculiar call which is a signal to the other mynas to take off. They live in close proximity to human dwellings relying on scraps of food thrown.  Mynas have specific vocalizations for their communications. On close observation one could figure out what exactly they are saying to the other mynas. A sudden Cheeeer means a signal to take off, Chadio...kadio..kadio...as a scolding to the other bird, keek...keek....keeeek....a socializing call while there is a full flock etc...etc.

 

The chief nesting season of the mynas is from April to August when the greenery is good and the insect population is good. They select a hole in a tree or a niche in a wall, sometimes under gabled roof rafters...the nest is a collection of dried grass, twigs discarded feathers, paper shreds, and a lot of other rubbish rags.  4 to 5 glossy blue eggs are laid and both sexes incubate and share all domestic chores.

 

A highly intelligent bird which takes to human company very easily and starts mimicking human voices.  The Indian myna's cousin the Hill Myna is well known to learn a number of human sounds and even sentences. 

 

Let us protect this beautiful bird. Rampant use of pesticides and garden fertilizers are having an effect on these birds by destroying the very source of food for these birds- the insect population.  We have to be judicious in usage of chemical pesticides to protect the fragile environment and its inhabitants.


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