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Mynas and Miners

The Common Indian Myna is a medium sized chocolate brown bird, about 12 cm tall, with a black head and neck, a yellow beak, eye patch, feet and legs. White wing patches are obvious when the birds are flying. Juvenile mynas look a bit different but are also easily recognisable as mynas.

Photo of the Common Myna
Photo of juvenile Common Mynas
Photo of Noisy Miner (Australian native species)

Photo: Andrew Tatnell

Juvenile Mynas
Photo: Andrew Tatnell

Noisy Miner


Mynas are distinctive, because unlike most birds, they move with a jaunty walk rather than hop. European Starlings also walk rather than hop. Common Indian Mynas can be confused with Noisy Miners, Manorina melanocephala, a native Australian species that is also aggressive and often moves around in groups, as do Common Indian Mynas and they look superficially similar to them.

Myna call 1
Myna call 2

All Common Indian Mynas, except females incubating eggs or young, sleep at night in communal roosts. Every night all the mynas within a kilometre or so of where they feed or nest gather at a communal roost. Up to several hundred birds may gather at these communal roosts, which are usually in a tree or other vegetation with dense foliage. Roosts are not always in trees but may be in creepers, buildings or under bridges. There are usually several roosts in each suburb.

Communal roosts of Common Indian Mynas are usually quite easy to find by looking for flying mynas about half an hour before it gets dark. If you follow the line of flight you’ll soon get close enough to hear them. If there are a lot of birds in the roost you can hear them from several hundred metres away. It is rare for other birds, except sometimes a few European Starlings, to roost in myna roosts.

Myna call 3 (roost)


Photo of a roosting site of the Common Myna
Photo of Common Mynas roosting
Photo of the Common Indian Myna feeding young
A roosting site
Photo: Justin Politi
Click picture to enlarge (26kb)
Photo: Andrew Tatnell
Click picture to enlarge(36kb)
Photo: Andrew Tatnell

  Copyright (c) 1998- The Australian National University
Date Last Modified: July 16, 2007
Author: Dr Chris Tidemann, ANU Fenner School

Website designed by Andrew Wong