Indian Myna Birds

Indian Mynas are one of the most invasive animal species in the world. Introduced into Australia in the late 1860s to control insects in market gardens, they have now spread to most of coastal Australia and New Zealand. Mynas are a serious environmental threat to native wildlife, taking over nesting hollows, evicting birds and small mammals, and preying on nestlings.

I admire these adaptable little birds, I really do. Their success is testament to their intelligence and devotion to their young. They are also great songbirds and mimics. Nevertheless, I am a member of a landcare group that routinely destroys these birds. I have personally trapped sixty six mynas at Pilyara in just three years, handing them over to be euthanased.

This makes me very sad. Each time a group is consigned to be gassed, I say a little prayer and apologise to them. After all, this isn’t their fault. We brought them here.They are innocent, just surviving – doing what mynas do, and making a pretty fair fist of it.  And that, of course, is the problem. For one myna becomes ten in just three years. That means my sixty six birds would have become six hundred and sixty by now. Local wildlife could never cope with such an onslaught. So I continue my involvement with the program, and monitor the skies for mynas. I just never forget who the true culprits are.

4 thoughts on “Indian Myna Birds

  1. Hi Jennifer,
    My heart bleeds too. However, interestingly I have found that as long as we maintain a fairly dense underbrush we can have many small native species (honeyeaters, finches, wrens etc.) coexisting with the mynas here in Brisbane.. They love open fields and sparse timber.

    I would love to catch up with you and Rodney some time. I think the last time I saw you was in 1966.

    I think writing is in the blood. My cousin (your second cousin) Dudley Scoullar has just published a book “The Cycles of Life” http://www.amazon.com/Cycles-Life-Dudley-Scoullar/dp/1466247649. I haven’t read it, but it looks intriguing. Genetics huh?
    Best wishes,

    Rhonda Scoullar

  2. So lovely to hear from you Rhonda! I must confess that I’m not too good on how all us Scoullar’s are related. 1966 huh! Rod reads this blog too – in fact he helped me set it up. I’ve no doubt he’ll see your post. Very glad you dropped by …

  3. Hi Jennifer,
    why dont you send the youg birds to Germany? One its hard to get them here in a petshop and they price is almost 1000 US Dollars. Here its said these birds are on the red list and there are only a few bird coming to us – breeding them here is very difficult.
    Im an owner fo a Mynahbird (gracula religiosa) she is like a familymember and to read you post makes me very sad if not to say angry ( although I do understand your problem)
    Best wishes – Petra

    • Hi Petra,
      I do know how you feel. It’s just awful that these clever little birds have become a pest in Australia and so many other countries. It’s not their fault, and I’m very glad to hear your little bird has a loving home.
      I had no idea Mynahs were hard to come by in Germany! Unfortunately they are classed as a pest species here and cannot be exported. The long trip would probably be quite an ordeal for wild birds as well. Such a shame.
      Kind regards,
      Jennifer

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