Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Common myna

Acridotheres tristis

Photo by Richard Taylor (Wikipedia)

Common name:
common myna (en); mainá-comum (pt); martin triste (fr); miná común (es); hirtenmaina (de)

Taxonomy:
Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

Range:
This species originates from southern Asia, from southern Iran and Afghanistan, through India, Nepal and Bangladesh and into Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. The common myna has been introduced to many areas outside their native range, namely the coasts of the Persian Gulf, Madagascar, South Africa, eastern Australia, northern New Zealand, several Pacific islands, Florida and southern Europe.

Size:
These birds are 23-26 cm long and weigh 110-140 g.

Habitat:
These birds are mostly found in agricultural areas, plantations and pastures, and readily adapt to urban environments. They are also found in mangroves and grasslands, from sea level up to an altitude of 3.000 m.

Diet:
The common myna is omnivorous. They forage on the ground, feeding on insects, especially grasshoppers, and also arachnids, crustaceans, reptiles, small mammals, eggs of other birds, seeds, grain and fruits and discarded waste from human habitation.

Breeding:
Common mynas are monogamous and territorial. They breed in October-March and the nest is an open cup made of dry grass, twigs and leaves which may be placed in a tree hollow, cliff side, building or thick vegetation. The female lays 4-6 pale greenish-blue eggs, which she mostly incubates alone for 13-18 days. The chicks fledge 22-27 days after hatching but continue to receive food from parents for another 3 weeks. Each pair raises 2 broods per season.

Conservation:
IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common. The population is suspected to be increasing as ongoing habitat degradation is creating new areas of suitable habitat and it is also expanding its range into new regions where they easily become an invasive species.

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