Mynah birds are the best mimics on the planet, rivaling parrots in their speaking ability. These stocky birds are native to Asia, but have spread throughout the world as pets.
The Mynah bird is native to India, Pakistan and Myanmar and many other Asian countries. Mynah birds were introduced to the Pacific Islands, Canada, South Africa and other nations to help combat agricultural pests. As a result of its adaptability and introduction throughout the world, Mynah birds have an expansive worldwide presence in the wild, and are even considered to be an invasive species. In 2013, Mynah birds were listed as one of the world's top 100 most invasive species by the Global Invasive Species Database.
Mynah Bird Characteristics
Mynah birds are small, stocky birds, usually weighing between 3 and 5 pounds. Mynah birds have black heads and brown bodies and wings, with bright yellow-orange bills, feet and skin around the eyes. The underside of the wings have white patches, which are generally only visible during flight.
Mynah birds mate for life, although a bird who has lost his mate will quickly form a new couple. Both males and females will aggressively defend their nests, although the female is the primary nester once the eggs are laid. Both parents will feed the chicks until they leave the nest, usually within a month of hatching.
Mynah Bird Diet
Mynah birds are omnivorous birds. They will eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, but also will eat many small agricultural pests. In the winter, when insects are in short supply, mynah birds can be seen rummaging through refuse and eating insects along the road. Mynah birds are opportunistic eaters, and will help themselves to pet food or even smaller fledgling birds. Because of their omnivorous eating habits, Mynah birds have been introduced to a wide range of countries around the world to eat agricultural pests.
Mynah Bird Vocals
Mynah birds are known for their excessive chatter. They are the most capable birds of mimicking noises and voices. Sometimes, they also develop extensive vocabularies and often sound more like humans than other talking birds. In large colonies in the wild, Mynah birds vocals can be quite loud and often vocalize in unison, called communal noise.
Mynah Birds as Pets
It's important to get your bird from a reputable breeder. Some unscrupulous breeders or wildlife smugglers will catch birds in the wild, which is illegal and inhumane. Be sure to follow guidelines for choosing a reputable bird breeder.
Mynah birds are very active and vocal birds. So, while they can make great family companions, potential owners need to consider the space and attention that a Mynah bird requires. Unlike other pet birds, Mynah birds don't climb, so the cage needs to be large enough to allow a bird to fly or hop from one perch to another. Since Mynah birds mate for life, it's advisable to get a pair, which may result in chicks if the environment is conducive for the birds to reproduce. Adult male and female Mynah birds look alike, so the only way to tell if you have a male or female bird is through a DNA test at an avian vet.
Mynah birds are prone to hemochromatosis, which is a condition where the liver collects too much iron and results in toxic levels. As a result, Mynah birds must be fed an appropriate diet and have regular veterinary care to stay healthy. With proper veterinary care and nutrition, Mynah birds can live up to 25 years.