Indian Mynas are brown with a black head and have a yellow bill, legs and bare eye skin. In flight it shows large white wing patches. The Indian Myna is 24cm in length on average. It is a member of the starling family and is also known as the Common Myna.
The Indian Myna is sometimes confused with the slightly larger (24 cm – 29 cm) Noisy Miner. However, the Noisy Miner is a native honeyeater and is mostly grey in colour with a yellow bill, legs and bare eye skin.
Indian Mynas were deliberately introduced to eastern Australia in the 1860s and are now found in urban and rural centres of southern and central Victoria, eastern New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and north-eastern and south-eastern Queensland.
Indian Mynas prefer areas associated with human habitation, particularly urban areas. In the evening, large groups of Indian Mynas gather in communal roosts such as large trees, roof voids and bridges, though this mainly occurs in the non-breeding season.
Indian Mynas are scavengers, feeding on almost anything, including insects, fruits and vegetables, scraps, and food left out for pets.
Indian Mynas mate for life. Common locations for breeding sites are in the walls and ceilings of buildings and in tree hollows. Breeding season for the Indian Myna is from October to March.
Problems associated with Indian Mynas
As an opportunistic feeder, Indian Mynas tend to congregate near food sources, this can include outdoor seating areas of café’s and restaurants, parks and reserves or backyards. When in search of food in these locations Indian Mynas can become a public nuisance.
How can you help reduce Indian Mynas?
The most effective methods of eradicating /controlling the number of Indian Mynas in and around your home or business are:
- building proofing at your home / business; and
- removing sources of food.
Remove breeding opportunities by building proofing
Undertake building proofing measures such as installing mesh along the roof guttering, block off holes in roofs and eaves to prevent Indian Mynas nesting or roosting in your home and/or install fly screens to prevent the birds from entering premises where food is being served. By doing this, you are denying Indian Mynas of one of their main habitats, which will help to reduce their population in the area.
Remove food sources
Indian Mynas are opportunistic feeders and will eat almost anything. Do not leave food or pet food outside as this will attract the birds, and ensure that garbage bins or compost areas are covered. Also avoid feeding native birds in your backyard or whilst visiting parks, reserves, and beaches as this may also attract Indian Mynas to these areas.
Planting native trees in your garden will assist in attracting more native birds to your home. Indian Mynas like to roost in exotic trees such as palms that have dense foliage and roosting nooks, so planting natives will also reduce potential roosting trees in the area.
Monitor nesting boxes to ensure they are not being used by Indian Mynas.
Another option is to trap and euthanise Indian Mynas, although this should only be considered if the first two preferred methods do not prove effective. All birds captured should be euthanized in accordance with proper procedure and humane methods as such residents who decide to trap must follow the Department of Primary Industry’s Protocols regarding trapping and euthanizing pest birds (provided below).
If a caging system is used, it has to be monitored regularly to ensure non-target species (native birds) are not caught. Traps should be collected for humane disposal once per week at a minimum, as leaving birds in a trap for longer than a week where food and water is not replenished is considered inhumane treatment.
Information sourced from the Birds in Backyards website.