The Common Myna sometimes spelled myhah was first seen in Florida in 1983 and is now found in eight counties for at least 10 years. They are native to southeastern Asia but have been introduced to almost every tropical or subtropical oceanic island and Australia. In Australia, it is mostly found in open country and human environments. In Florida, they remain small and widely scattered. They prefer shopping mall parking lots. Being omnivorous, they feed on fruits, seeds, insects, and human food. Nesting occurs in tree cavities, buildings, crowns of palms, large signs and broken lights.
Common Myna’s are readily identified by the brown body, black hooded head and the bare yellow patch behind the eye. Their bill and legs are bright yellow. They have a white patch on the outer primaries and the wing lining on the underside is white. Usually, the birds are seen in pairs and the sexes are similar. It is believed that they pair for life. They breed through much of the year depending on the location, building their nest in a hole in a tree or wall and breed from sea-level to 3000 m in the Himalayas.
Their calls include croaks, squawks, chirps, clicks, whistles and “growls.” It often fluffs its feather and bobs its head in singing. They will screech warnings to its mate or other birds in case of predators in the proximity or when they are about to take off flying.
They are competing with native species with their nest in trees or cavity nests in communal groups. Mynas sometimes attack Purple Martins. The species spread aggressively and can be serious pests of crops and orchards, as well as being a source of bird malaria. Being declared are one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species, their history of and establishment and negative ecological impacts, Mynas have been prohibited from importation into the United States.
Photography credits Muhammad Mahdi Karim