Myna Bird Common Myna - Brought to Australia for Pest Control


Description of Myna Bird

The Myna also referred to as the Common Indian Myna is a medium-sized dark brown bird with distinctive yellow eye-patches, beak, legs and feet. It is native to Asia where it lives primarily in open woodlands. It is about 23 centimetres (9.1 in) in length and weighs about 120gms. Males and females are similar but the female is slightly larger than the male. The myna bird walks, rather than hops unlike most small birds.

The Myna is omnivorous. It eats small inserts, lizards, reptiles, mammals, worms, seeds grains and fruit. It has also adopted to eating food scraps thrown away by humans.


Why the Myna was Brought to Australia

The Myna bird was first brought to Victoria Australia in 1863 to help control insects in Melbourne market gardens. Even though it proved unsuccessful at this, it was still introduced to Queensland to try to control grasshoppers and cane beetles.


Why the Myna is an Invasive Pest in Australia

The Myna has adapted well to the Australian environment and spread rapidly throughout the eastern states of Australia. It is the most common bird in urban areas competing with native birds for food and shelter.

The Myna's major crime is that it is an aggressive hollow-nesting bird that displacing less aggressive local birds and small mammals from their traditional nesting hollows. By doing so they reduce biodiversity resulting in these native animals dying or not being able to raise their young.

This has led to a decline in native species such as the Sugar Glider, Cockatoo, Rosella, Kookaburra, and small birds such as the Superb Fairy-Wren.

Related: Introduced Animals of Australia


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