Myna

The myna (/ˈmaɪnə/; also spelled mynah) is a bird of the starling family (Sturnidae). This is a group of passerine birds which are native to southern Asia, especially Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh . Several species have been introduced to areas like North America, Australia, South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand, especially the common myna which is often regarded as an invasive species. It is often known as "Selarang" and "Teck Meng" in Malay and Chinese respectively in Singapore, due to their high population there. Similarly, in Nepal, it is known by local name Dangre.

Mynas are not a natural group;[1] instead, the term myna is used for any starling in the Indian subcontinent, regardless of their relationships. This range was colonized twice during the evolution of starlings, first by rather ancestral starlings related to the coleto and Aplonis lineages, and millions of years later by birds related to the common starling and wattled starling's ancestors. These two groups of mynas can be distinguished in the more terrestrial adaptions of the latter, which usually also have less glossy plumage except on the heads and longer tails. The Bali myna which is nearly extinct in the wild is highly distinctive.

Some mynas are considered talking birds, for their ability to reproduce sounds, including human speech, when in captivity.

Myna is derived from the Hindi language mainā which itself is derived from Sanskrit madanā.[2][3]

Myna
Baliespreeuw
Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi)
Scientific classification
Kingdom:
Phylum:
Class:
Order:
Family:
Myna on tree
A common Myna resting on some coconuts, Thanlyin, Myanmar
Myna by Koryusai
Myna perched in a flowering tree, Nishiki-e (color woodblock print) by Isoda Koryusai, c. 1775.
Common Mynah on a tree.
Common mynah on a tree. Kollam, Kerala, India.
Acridotheres tristis
Common myna, Acridotheres tristis
Myna
Two myna sitting together

Characteristics

Mynas are medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit.

Plumage is typically dark, often brown, although some species have yellow head ornaments. Most species nest in holes.

Some species have become well known for their imitative skills; the common hill myna is one of these.

Species

The following are species of mynas. The coleto and the two Saroglossa starlings are included because of their position in the taxonomic list.

Jungle and hill mynas

"True" mynas

The following species are often included in the Acridotheres mynas:

References

  1. ^ Zuccon et al. 2006.
  2. ^ "myna". Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged (11th ed.). Retrieved November 22, 2012 – via CollinsDictionary.com.
  3. ^ "myna". New Oxford American Dictionary.

Sources

  • Zuccon, Dario; Cibois, Alice; Pasquet, Eric; Ericson, Per G. P. (2006). "Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data reveal the major lineages of starlings, mynas and related taxa". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 41 (2): 333–344. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.007. PMID 16806992.

External links

Bali myna

The Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi), also known as Rothschild's mynah, Bali starling, or Bali mynah, locally known as jalak Bali, is a medium-sized (up to 25 centimetres (9.8 in) long), stocky myna, almost wholly white with a long, drooping crest, and black tips on the wings and tail. The bird has blue bare skin around the eyes, greyish legs and a yellow bill. Both sexes are similar. It is critically endangered and fewer than 100 adults are assumed to currently exist in the wild.

Bank myna

Bank myna (Acridotheres ginginianus) is a myna found in northern parts of South Asia. It is smaller but similar in colouration to the common myna but differs in having a brick red bare skin behind the eye in place of yellow. It is greyer on the underside and in this and in the presence of a slight tuft of feathers bears some resemblance to the jungle myna. They are found in flocks on the plains of northern and central India, often within towns and cities. Their range appears to be extending southwards in India. The name is derived from their habit of nesting almost exclusively in the earthen banks of rivers where they excavate holes and breed in large colonies.

Brahminy starling

The brahminy myna or brahminy starling (Sturnia pagodarum) is a member of the starling family of birds. It is usually seen in pairs or small flocks in open habitats on the plains of the Indian subcontinent.

Chestnut-tailed starling

The chestnut-tailed starling or grey-headed myna (Sturnia malabarica) is a member of the starling family. It is a resident or partially migratory species found in wooded habitats in India and Southeast Asia. The species name is after the distribution of a former subspecies in the Malabar region. While the chestnut-tailed starling is a winter visitor to peninsular India, the closely related resident breeding population with a white head is now treated as a full species, the Malabar starling (Sturnia blythii).

Collared myna

The collared myna (Acridotheres albocinctus) is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae.

It is found in China, India, and Myanmar.

Common hill myna

The common hill myna (Gracula religiosa), sometimes spelled "mynah" and formerly simply known as hill myna, is the myna most commonly seen in aviculture, where it is often simply referred to by the latter two names. It is a member of the starling family (Sturnidae), resident in hill regions of South Asia and Southeast Asia. The Sri Lanka hill myna, a former subspecies of G. religiosa, is now generally accepted as a separate species G. ptilogenys. The Enggano hill myna (G. enganensis) and Nias hill myna (G. robusta) are also widely accepted as specifically distinct, and many authors favor treating the Southern hill myna (G. indica) from the Nilgiris and elsewhere in the Western Ghats of India as a separate species.

Common myna

The common myna or Indian myna (Acridotheres tristis), sometimes spelled mynah, is a member of the family Sturnidae (starlings and mynas) native to Asia. An omnivorous open woodland bird with a strong territorial instinct, the myna has adapted extremely well to urban environments.

The range of the common myna is increasing at such a rapid rate that in 2000 the IUCN Species Survival Commission declared it one of the world's most invasive species and one of only three birds in the top 100 species that pose an impact to biodiversity, agriculture and human interests. In particular, the species poses a serious threat to the ecosystems of Australia where it was named "The Most Important Pest/Problem".

Crested myna

The crested myna (Acridotheres cristatellus) is a species of starling native to southeastern China and Indochina. Unlike other similar mynas, its bill is dull whitish rather than orange-yellow.

Around 1890, the crested myna was introduced into the Vancouver region of British Columbia. It was initially successful, reaching a population in the thousands, without spreading far from the Lower Mainland. By the mid-twentieth century, numbers began declining, and the bird is now extirpated in North America, although they have released or escaped in Florida, U.S, but not confirmed to be breeding. Population persists only with repeated introductions and/or escapes of individuals.[1] They were discovered breeding around Lisbon in Portugal in 1997, they are established on both sides of the Tagus estuary to the west of Lisbon and also on the Setúbal Peninsula.

Daurian starling

The Daurian starling (Agropsar sturninus), or purple-backed starling, is a species of bird in the starling family found in eastern Asia from eastern Mongolia and south-eastern Russia to North Korea and central China.

Golden-crested myna

The golden-crested myna (Ampeliceps coronatus) is a species in the starling and myna family, Sturnidae. It is found from north-eastern India through Indochina and has been introduced to the British Indian Ocean Territory. Its main habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, but it is also found in heavily degraded former forest.

Gracula

Gracula is a genus of mynas, tropical members of the starling family of birds found in southern Asia and introduced to Florida in the United States.

Great myna

The great myna (Acridotheres grandis) is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae. It is found in Northeast India, through Bangladesh to Southeast Asia.

Grosbeak starling

The grosbeak starling (Scissirostrum dubium), also known as the grosbeak myna, finch-billed myna, or scissor-billed starling, is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae. It is monotypic in the genus Scissirostrum. It is endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia.Its natural habitat is tropical lowland, and sometimes subtropical montane, lightly wooded forest areas and wetlands.This species nests in colonies, which frequently contain hundreds of pairs. Its nests are bored in rotting or dying tree trunks in woodpecker style. It eats fruit, insects, and grain.Grosbeak starlings are highly vocal, at their colonies and in feeding flocks.The grosbeak starling was first described by the English ornithologist John Latham in 1801 under the binomial name Lanius dubium.

Javan myna

The Javan myna (Acridotheres javanicus), also known as the white-vented myna, is a species of myna. It is a member of the starling family.

Jungle myna

The jungle myna (Acridotheres fuscus) is a myna, a member of the starling family. It is found patchily distributed across much of the mainland of the Indian Subcontinent but absent in the arid zones of India. It is easily recognized by the tuft of feathers on its forehead that form a frontal crest, a feature also found in the closely related Javan myna and the pale-bellied myna which were treated as a subspecies in the past. The eyes are pale, yellow or blue depending on the population and the base of the orange-yellow bill is dark. It has also been introduced either intentionally or accidentally into many other parts of the world including Fiji, Taiwan, the Andaman Islands, and parts of Japan. The species has also spread out on its own to some islands in the Pacific.

Pied myna

The pied myna or Asian pied starling (Gracupica contra) is a species of starling found in the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia. They are usually found in small groups mainly on the plains and low foothills. They are often seen within cities and villages although they are not as bold as the common myna. They produce a range of calls made up of liquid notes. Several slight plumage variations exist in the populations and about five subspecies are named.

Sri Lanka hill myna

The Sri Lanka hill myna, Ceylon myna or Sri Lanka myna (Gracula ptilogenys), is a myna, a member of the starling family. This bird is endemic to Sri Lanka.

This passerine is typically found in forest and cultivation. The Sri Lanka myna builds a nest in a hole. The normal clutch is two eggs.

These 25 cm long birds have green-glossed black plumage, purple-tinged on the head and neck. There are large white wing patches, which are obvious in flight. The strong legs are bright yellow, and there are yellow wattles on the nape.

The different shape and position of the wattles and the stouter orange-red bill distinguish this species from the Southern hill myna, which also occurs in Sri Lankan forests. The sexes are similar in plumage, but can be distinguished by iris color, which is pale in females and dark in males. Juveniles have a duller bill and smaller wattles, and are less glossy overall.

Like most starlings, the Sri Lanka myna is fairly omnivorous, eating fruit, nectar and insects.

Starling

Starlings are small to medium-sized passerine birds in the family Sturnidae. The name "Sturnidae" comes from the Latin word for starling, sturnus. Many Asian species, particularly the larger ones, are called mynas, and many African species are known as glossy starlings because of their iridescent plumage. Starlings are native to Europe, Asia and Africa, as well as northern Australia and the islands of the tropical Pacific. Several European and Asian species have been introduced to these areas as well as North America, Hawaii and New Zealand, where they generally compete for habitats with native birds and are considered to be invasive species. The starling species familiar to most people in Europe and North America is the common starling, and throughout much of Asia and the Pacific, the common myna is indeed common.

Starlings have strong feet, their flight is strong and direct, and they are very gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit. Several species live around human habitation and are effectively omnivores. Many species search for prey such as grubs by "open-bill probing", that is, forcefully opening the bill after inserting it into a crevice, thus expanding the hole and exposing the prey; this behaviour is referred to by the German verb zirkeln (pronounced [ˈtsɪɐ̯kl̩n]).Plumage of many species is typically dark with a metallic sheen. Most species nest in holes and lay blue or white eggs.

Starlings have diverse and complex vocalizations and have been known to embed sounds from their surroundings into their own calls, including car alarms and human speech patterns. The birds can recognize particular individuals by their calls and are the subject of research into the evolution of human language.

Sulawesi myna

The Sulawesi myna (Basilornis celebensis) is a species of starling in the family Sturnidae. It is endemic to Sulawesi, Indonesia. Its natural habitat is subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests.

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