Common ("Indian") Myna (Introduced)
Family: Sturnidae (Starlings and allies, 3 species in Australia)
Size: 23-25 cm
Distribution: Within about 100-200 km of the coasts of eastern Australia and VIC, around areas settled by people.
Status: Locally Abundant to Common
References: Simpson and Day, Reader's Digest, Common Indian Myna Web Site
The Common Myna (usually called the Indian Myna) is a well known introduced bird of urban and settled areas. Some peope say it is regarded as Australia's number one feral enemy (which is a large claim considering the damage done by some of the other main feral species like the red fox and the cane toad). The indian myna takes over nesting hollows that would otherwise be used by native birds and small mammals, and they prey on nests of other birds. They are often seen around garbage bins and garbage in general.
Although it is easily the most hated bird in Australia and many other countries, in India, where they come from originally (and where they belong), people like them. In India the Common Indian Myna is called the “Farmer’s Friend” because it eats insects that destroy crop plants. The name myna comes from a Hindi word, “maina” meaning a bird of the starling family, Sturnidae, to which mynas belong. Mynas in India are also regarded as symbols of undying love, because they often pair for life and maina is also sometimes used as a term of endearment for young girls.
Photo: Lake Parramatta, NSW. High Resolution (2413 x 1858).
Photo: Lake Parramatta, NSW. High Resolution (1636 x 2394).
Photo: Lake Parramatta, NSW.
Some Birdwatching Resources
NEW: Know Your Birds, by Louise Egerton.
Revised edition 3 July 2019. Paperback / softback, 176 pages. It has an orange cover. The original edition was 2005 and has a blue cover. Some of the book sellers listed here show the photo from the original/older blue cover edition, but the rest of the info (including the publication date and ISBN) are from the newer revised 2019 edition, so presumably that's the one you'll get.
This book has very high quality large photographs of the birds (as in actual photographs). Most of the photos take up a whole page for each bird photograph. "Know Your Birds" only has a selection of the most common birds, and not all the birds that are found in Australia. This makes it very good for beginners — since most of the field guides have all the birds — and it can be confusing looking at six almost identical species of birds, not knowing that five of them are rare and it's probably the common one that you're looking for. Which would be the only one listed in this book.
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