Early is considered by the International Union for Conservation

 Early morning as I look out my window in the backyard garden, I take delight listening to a chorus rendered by various birds: Sparrows, Doves and the common Myna. The air is filled with a vast array of vocalizations, chirps, croaks, squawks, growls and whistles. Mynah or Myna birds belong to the Sturnidae family in the Passerine group which includes Starling species as well. The name is derived from the Hindi word main?, a derivative of the word madan? in Sanskrit language. These birds are native to South Asia and abundantly found in Pakistan. Various species of Myna have been introduced to different parts of the world, including North America, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand. In some areas, the population of the common myna bird has multiplied exponentially and is considered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Species Survival Committee among one of the world’s most invasive species. In Australia it is regarded as a pest and poses a considerable threat to the ecosystem. There are several species of Myna, to name a few: “true” mynas and jungle mynas. The “True” mynas include The Great myna, Common myna, Bali myna, Crested myna, Pale-bellied myna, Bank myna, White-vented myna and Collared myna. The Jungle Mynas include Golden Myna, Yellow faced myna, Common hill myna, Finch billed myna, Gold crested myna, Sri Lanka hill myna, Long crested myna, Apo myna, Fiery-browned myna, Long-tailed myna, Sulawesi myna and Helmeted myna. Mynas are medium sized stocky, sociable birds. Their habitat of choice is open country, but most of the species have adapted very well to the urban environment. They nest in cavities found in trees. In the city they make nooks and crevasses found in man-made structures, thus their nests are adept to their territory. These birds are omnivorous and their diet consists of a variety of seeds, insects, fruits, small mammals, eggs, amphibians and small reptiles, they have also been known to scavenge for food. The Common myna has dark brown plumage, the head has black hair, a vibrant yellow patch behind the eye and a sturdy bright yellow bill and feet. They have traces of white feathers that become visible during flight. Males weigh up to 110 grams whereas females can weigh as much as 140 grams. Their body length on average is 23 centimeters. They are believed to be amongst the monogamous species in the animal kingdom, meaning they mate for life. The plumage of these birds comes in a variation of lighter and darker shades, complying with Golger’s rule, a zoological rule that states that the species located in humid locations or closer to the equator are heavily pigmented as compared to those that inhabit regions with higher aridity. The common myna is popular as a pet. It has beautiful vocalizations and it may come as a surprise, but some of these birds raised in captivity can even learn to “talk” – thanks to their excellent mimicking ability. It is, however agreed that the birds do simply that, which is mimic, and do not possess understanding of the vocabulary. In the wild, during a communal roost, mynas vocalize in unison before drifting off into slumber. This species is native to Asia, mostly occupying South Asia. Comon myna has become an invasive species after being introduced to Parts of North America, Australia along with islands in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic oceans. These birds are known to be aggressive, especially when it comes to establishing territory. Their hostile behavior is one of the reasons that the common myna has been labeled as disruptive. It has displaced many of the local species and caused the number of native birds to decline. The Bali Myna is perhaps the most unique in terms of its distinctive appearance. It is also known as Rothschild’s myna and locally, in Bali (Indonesia), it is known as Jalak Bali and is the regional mascot. The bird was discovered in 1910 and shortly after, it was chosen to be Bali’s faunal emblem and also appeared on the Indonesian 200 rupiah coin. The Bali myna has eye catching white plumage, an elongated wilting crest and black tipped feathers visible at the ends of its wings and tail. It has a delicate yellow bill, grey legs and a stroke of bare blue skin behind the eye.Both the sexes of the bird are similar; they are medium sized and can grow up to 25 centimeters in length. This is an endemic species, meaning it’s exclusive to Bali and is unfortunately considered to be critically endangered, inching closer towards extinction. Their white color makes them easily detectable to predators, therefore their nests are inconspicuous. They make their nest in tree cavities that are well hidden and high above ground. In the rainy season, the breeding rituals of these birds begin. Males attract females by bobbing up and down while calling out loudly. The pair equally contributes to feeding and caring for their young. The Common hill myna, also simply known as hill myna is native to southern China, eastern India, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippine and also found in parts of U.S.A and Japan. These birds require a warm subtropical climate to flourish. In Bangladesh they have been driven to extinction due to habitat destruction and over exploitation due to trade. The bird is popular in aviculture and is kept as a pet due to its astounding mimicking ability, but its demand exceeds captive breeding capacity, making it difficult for individuals to acquire them.The Hill myna has jet black glossy plumage, spots of bright yellow bare skin along with fleshy wattles on the side of its head and a red bill that fades to yellow at the tip along with sturdy bright yellow feet.The bird’s head, neck and breast have a hint of purple radiance, while the rest of the body has a greenish iridescence. The bird has white tipped feathers that are visible in flight. The appearance tends to vary subtly from region to region.Both sexes are similar and grow to an average of 28 cm in length. They are found on hills that are between 300 – 2000 meters above sea level, but also prefer humid areas with abundant rainfall and thick vegetation; therefore they inhabit forests and jungles in the vicinity. They are omnivorous and their diet includes fruits, seeds and insects. The Jungle myna is resident to tropical south Asia, ranging from Nepal, Bangladesh, Pakistan, India and Indonesia. These are commonly found in dense forests and cultivable lands. Their dark grey plumage has a tendency of being darker near the head and wings. White patches of feathers are visible in flight. They have a ruffled tuft on the forehead and the beak and feet are vibrant yellow. Mynas are impressive agile and intelligent birds. Most of the species are flourishing due to their gregarious personality and adaptability, but a few are faced with the threat of decline and in some areas, even extinction. These birds are a part of our ecosystem and should be treated in a humane and considerate way rather than exploiting them and causing them harm. If the birds are disregarded and underappreciated, soon enough some of the more profuse and thriving species will begin to wither, inevitably hindering the natural order of things. ———————-