Image credit: Faris Algosaibi
How to identify common mynas?
The common myna (Acridotheres tristis) is a member of the starling family and is also known as the Indian myna. The common myna is brown with a black head. It has a yellow bill, legs and skin around the eyes. In flight it shows large white patches on the underside of the wings.
The common myna shouldn’t be confused with the native noisy miner (manorina melanocephala). The noisy miner is predominantly grey in colour.
Why are common mynas pests?
The common myna is native to India and southern Asia. It was originally released in Melbourne during the 1860s to help control insects in market gardens. This pest bird has now spread through the south-eastern areas of Australia with sightings from Darwin, Adelaide and even Perth.
The common myna competes with our native fauna. They are aggressive and evict other birds and arboreal mammals from occupied hollows. Common mynas don’t just occupy one hollow but will evict and build nests in surrounding hollows as decoys. Many of our native species use tree hollows for shelter and breeding. Common mynas are reducing this already limited resource.
Common myna adult pairs can produce up to 18 young a year, resulting in very large populations in favourable environments.
How to control common mynas?
If you see common mynas, please report your sightings to help map their locations.
MynaScan helps assist communities, local governments and pest controllers to reduce the damage they cause to the native environment. You can access MynaScan by going to website or downloading the Field Guide to Pest Animals of Australia app (iOS).
Minimise their habitat and food
Common mynas prefer open urban areas where there is little tree cover with suburban open parks and gardens being their prime habitats. They are primarily scavengers and eat insects, fruits, vegetables, pet and stock food. You can help by:
- Never leaving food outside (pet food, food scraps, rubbish compost and chook food)
- Reducing open space areas (lawns) and planting native vegetation
- Checking native animal nest boxes in your yard for myna activity.
Assist in common myna trapping
There are several coordinated common myna trapping programs in Australia that have yielded good results to help control this pest species. Residents can borrow common myna traps from Redland City Council.
Individuals who participate in trapping are required to adopt the following animal welfare protocol (refer to the Animal Care and Protection Act 2001 for more information):
- Traps are to be designed specifically for common mynas to avoid trapping native birds
- If a native bird is trapped, it is to be released immediately. It is an offence to trap or kill native birds.
- Seed‐based foods are not to be used in traps as this will attract non-target native birds and rodents
- Birds are not to be exposed to undue stress while trapped
- Any trapped birds are to have access to adequate food, clean water, shelter and shade
- Traps are to be checked morning and evening to check adequate conditions
- Trapped birds must be transported to Animal Management (264 South Street, Thornlands) within 24 hours of capture.
For the best trapping results, start pre-feeding birds (dry cat or puppy kibble) at the trap set up location before you get your trap. It may take several weeks to get your common mynas confident enough to feed at the site daily. When you receive your trap, please properly follow the comprehensive manual that comes with each trap system.
Please phone Redland City Council Animal Management on (07) 3829 8663 for more information on the trapping program.