Mynah bird / Miner bird: a complete guide
The Mynah bird (sometimes called a Myna or Miner bird) is a member of the starling family (Latin name; Stunidae) and primarily lives in southern Asia, particularly India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. These birds are lively, social and friendly, making them ideal for keeping as pets. Hand-raised birds are entirely socialised and perfectly comfortable with spending time with humans.
Mynah Bird Talking
Mynah birds, like many tropical birds, can listen to human language and repeat the sounds that they hear with incredible accuracy. Researchers think that this ability stems from the need to identify approaching predators in the wild. Older Mynah birds learn a range of calls throughout their lives that indicate danger and use them to signal to juveniles that they need to hide. This innate ability means that many owners can train their birds to repeat words and even get them to understand basic concepts.
Mynah birds are famous for their speech because it sounds the most human-like of any bird commonly kept as a pet. Even though their vocal apparatus is very different from ours, it has the right structure to produce similar intonations. Mynahs raised as fledgelings by humans before age six months tend to pick up our vocal sounds better and imitate them extraordinarily well. Experts estimate that they may be able to learn up to one hundred words.
Types of Mynah Birds
Mynahs come in a variety of different species. These include:
· Great Mynah
These are mainly black and has elongated forehead feathers, a yellow beak and feet, and a white streak from the vent to the tip of the tail
· Crested Mynah
Also known as the Chinese starling, which is black all over and has a tuft of feathers just above its beak
· White-vented Mynah
These are similar to the great Mynah has brown-black plumage and white features under the wings and along the tip of the tail
· Pale-bellied Mynas
Native to the Sulawesi peninsula in Indonesia and have since spread to areas such as Kuching and East Timor
· Common hill Mynah
This is a stocky jet-black bird with orange patches of skin around the neck and head
· Long-tailed Mynah
This is one of the largest members of the Stunidae family with a wingspan approaching 160mm
There are many other types of Mynah birds, split into the “jungle and hill” and “true” Mynahs. Some species, such as the vinous-breasted starling, the pied Myna and the black-winged startline are sometimes included in the group of Acridotheres mynas.
What Is The Mynah Diet?
Mynahs have a highly varied diet consisting of a wide range of foodstuffs. These include snakes, eggs, lizards, insects and their larvae, fruits and baby rodents. In built-up areas, wild Mynahs will also sometimes scavenge for food in rubbish dumps.
Owners that keep these birds as pets should note that the ideal nutrient percentage for these birds is 18 per cent protein, 8 per cent fat and the rest carbohydrate. Mynahs are highly sensitive to iron and should only consume small quantities of the mineral.
As for fruits, owners can feed their birds a variety of dates, bananas, dried apples, pears, plums and pineapple. Mynahs are also able to eat citrus fruits, such as oranges.
Pelleted diets are the ideal food for captive birds. They’re easy to feed and provide all the correct nutrients in the proper ratio to mimic the natural diet. Be sure to check the iron values, however. Some feeds have excessively high levels.
Dry foods will reduce the mess that droppings create. However, owners should still supplement Mynah diets with crickets, mealworms and wax worms. If you find mice less than a day old, you can feed these too.
Mynah birds can also eat vegetables. However, they shouldn’t comprise a large chunk of the diet. Chop them into small cubes before serving.
Please note that Mynah birds do not bite their food into pieces like many other birds. Instead, they swallow items whole and store them in their crops. It is crucial, therefore, to present all foods in small, bite-sized pieces for adequate digestion.
Where Can You Buy Mynah Birds?
Mynah birds are available through a variety of sources. Many pet stores sell them directly with some hand-rearing them from the egg. You can also pick up these birds on rehoming sites - sometimes for free and other times for a fee. A variety of mynah bird species are available.
Many pet stores will deliver Mynah birds via courier to your address, meaning that you don’t have to travel to pick them up.