Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Common hill myna

Gracula religiosa

Photo by Rajiv Lather (Birding in India)

Common name:
common hill myna (en); mainá-da-montanha (pt); mainate religieux (fr); miná del Himalaya (es); beo (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Sturnidae

This species is found from eastern and north-eastern India, and southern China, through Indochina and into Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. It has also been introduced to several other areas, namely Florida, Puerto Rico, Hawaii and Japan, Hong Kong and Macao.

These birds are 27-30 cm long and weigh about 200 g.

The common hill myna is mostly found in moist tropical forests, but also in mangroves and plantation. They are present at altitudes of 300-2.000 m.

They are mainly frugivorous, taking various figs and other fruits and berries, but also eat seeds, nectar, insects and small lizards.

Common hill mynas breed in April-July. They nest on a small hole in a tree, usually at the forest edge, which both sexes line with twigs, leaves and feathers. The female lays 2-4 bluish-green eggs with brown spots. The eggs are incubated by both parents for 13-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 25-28 days after hatching. Each pair can raise 2-3 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common to abundant. The population is suspected to be in decline owing to capture for the cage bird trade and to widespread forest destruction, although rates of decline are unlikely to be higher than moderate, as this species is tolerant of secondary and degraded habitats.

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