Indian Myna Bird
Species Information - Indian Myna (Acridotheres tristis)
What do they look like?
The Indian Myna is brown with a black head. It has a yellow bill, legs and bare yellow skin behind the eye. In flight it shows a large white patch on rounded black wings. Juveniles are duller and a plain brown.
Why are they considered such a pest?
Indian Mynas are native to India and were introduced to Australia and across the world in order to reduce insect populations in agricultural areas. Their populations have rapidly and significantly increased, and are actually ranked as one of the world’s 100 most invasive pest species by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
Why are they so common in urban areas?
Urban areas provide Indian Mynas with the perfect conditions to thrive; plenty of food left in playgrounds, garbage bins, uneaten pet food; sources of water; lots of places to nest (including gutters); lots of open space; and not many other native species that can compete with them.
Can they be confused with other species?
The Common Myna is sometimes confused with the slightly larger (24 cm - 29 cm) Noisy Miner, Manorina melanocephala. Although both species have similar common names, the Noisy Miner is actually a native honeyeater. Both have yellow bills, legs and bare eye skin, but the Common Myna is brown with a black head and in flight it shows large white wing patches. The Noisy Miner is mostly grey.
References: Kur-ring-gai Council Common Myna Trapping Program information. Pizzey, G. 2003, The Field Guide to the Birds of Australia, HarperCollins Publishers, Sydney.
What can you do to deter Indian Myna birds from your yard?
- Seed left out for native birds can attract Indian Mynas. If you see Mynas at your bird feeder or in your garden, stop putting out birdseed immediately.
- Do not leave pet food outside - it’s best to feed pets inside, or if that is not possible, put pet food inside during the day.
- If you have chickens or ducks, feed then in a secure pen so Mynas can't get to the food. If you feed goats or horses clean up spilled or leftover pellets or grain.
- Mynas like to nest in tree hollows, roofs, exotic trees and the dead fronds of palms. To break the nesting cycle block holes in roofs and eaves and keep palms well trimmed.
- Encourage native birds to your garden - plant a variety of native plants (groundcovers, grasses, shrubs and trees) and avoid growing palm trees and pine trees, provide water sources for birds (water bowl, bird bath or pond) and if you have large trees in your yard, consider installing some bird boxes.