I was walking around my garden, trying to take some snapshots of a beautiful butterfly when I spotted this bird perch on top of my neighbour's longan tree. You see, longan fruits are very sweet and tasty, that's why this bird was there. It was staring greedily at the bunch of juicy fruits and didn't even noticed me when I snapped this photo.
The common myna can be easily identified by its black head and dark brown body, yellow beak, yellow legs and a yellow patch behind the eyes. There is also a white patch on their wings and tail. They walk on the ground rather than hop. They actually look quite beautiful and cute. The myna or talking bird can be trained to whistle, sing and talk, making them popular as caged birds for show. On 17 Jun 2009, China Daily reported that in Hubei Province, China, a 73 year old man had used a recorder to teach his myna to sing songs and recite ancient poems. If you visit You Tube, you can find some videos of mynas that can sing and speak foreign languages!
I love birds too but I must beware of this one. The common myna can be found almost anywhere; in the outskirts as well as urban areas. Like us humans, the myna has adapted well to city living. They are omnivorous and scavengers that feed on insects (e.g. grasshoppers), fruits and leftover food from our dustbins. Therefore, mynas may carry diseases. They usually live in holes in trees and walls. If they decide to live with us and build nests in the walls and ceilings of our homes, this may cause damage to the gutters and drainpipes. They use grass, dry twigs, feathers, leaves and sometimes even rubbish material to build their nests. Hence, they may become a nuisance.
Mynas can be very noisy and annoying too. At night, large groups may gather on a big tree and chirp their heart out. They also make a lot of noise when they fight. I used to enjoy their singing, but one day, I personally had a fearful experience. I saw that a baby bird or nestling had fallen to the ground. It was making a lot of noise, chirping loudly; looking for its mother. It seemed injured and looked very pathetic, so I tried to save it from being eaten by the cat. You see, a neighbour's fat white cat like to visit my garden occassionally to poop or pee. As I got near to catch the nestling, a few mynas came circling in the sky above. They were making a lot of very loud, threatening noises. Whenever I got near the baby, the noises peaked. So, I quickly dashed into my home to seek shelter, just in case there was a misunderstanding and they wanted to attack me for preying on their baby. Wow! What a scary encounter.
Finally, it may be interesting to note that the common myna has been 'awarded' as one of the "100 Of The Worl'd's Most Invasive Alien Species", according to the International Species Specialist Group (ISSG) and IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). It has become quite a serious problem (as pests) in some countries like Australia. Over here in my country, I guess it is not that serious a problem yet. Anyway, I don't usually see them everyday.
For further details, please refer to: http://www.issg.org/database/species/search.asp?st=100ss&fr=1&sts .