Malaysian Birds

Mynas in Malaysia

The common name of the bird is Myna. Spelled often with a "h" as Mynah, is a bird from the Starling Family -Sturnidae. The term "Myna" is used widely for any bird that looks like Starling, irrespective whether they are from the same family or not. Mynas are fair size birds passerines with strong feet, powerful flier and direct to their destination. Most species are gregarious and generally an open country bird in dark color and often with a tinge of brown.

Worldwide there are 114 species and in south east Asia, there are 23 species. Found naturally in south and eastern Asia and in many countries as introduced species. The Common Myna with its habits and breeding rate is often regarded as a invasive species.

The topic of Myna cannot be complete without the mention of "Soft-billed" birds. No! nothing to do with soft or hooked bills that the caged birds have. Soft-billed is a loose term used by pet lovers and is synonymous with the soft diet the birds are are fed on. Irrespective of whether the birds is Frugivorous, carnivorous or Insectivorous.

The Hill Myna excel in this area for their excellent talking ability, but in general the Mynah Bird was once one of the most commonly kept softbills, but for some reason have lately become increasingly hard to find. Beside the Hill Myna who has the extraordinary ability to mimic, the rest of the Myna are no song bird. Their calls coarse but loud.

The Mynas could be divided into 3 types.

1. Those seen in the forested areas - Jungle and Hill Mynas - as their common names imply

2. The "true" Mynas, as seen in urban places - as in White-vented Myna, Crested & Javan Myna

3. Those named as Starlings - as Vinous-breasted Starling, Asian-pied Starling etc.

This page is devoted to the 5 birds seen in Malaysia and named as Mynas




 Common Myna


Crested Myna


Jungle Myna


Hill Myna


Javan Myna


White-vented  Myna


The common Mynas that we see in our garden and in public parks, are the Common Myna and the Javan Myna. Both species are sharing almost identical body colours. They gather in flocks, unconcerned with human presence. That gives the impression, that Mynas are such common birds. In fact, they are 2 very often seen species. True, they are prolific in their propagation too, perhaps all because these more commonly seen species are not choosy about food and are readily available.



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