Mynah birds, also known as Myna birds, are of the Starling family (Sturnidae). There are more than 20 species of Mynah birds around the world, and they prefer to inhabit open woodlands, cultivated areas and the borders of human habitation. They prefer to nest in hollow openings in trees, under eaves in fences or on buildings. These birds are rather easy to identify and have, to a large extent, invaded areas that are non-native to them.
These birds are only native to Southeast Asia and many species of Myna are considered invasive in countries where they have been introduced, such as in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and parts of the North American continent. The Crested Myna was introduced in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the 1980s, according to The National Geographic Society's Field Guide to the Birds of North America. In countries such as Australia and South Africa, these birds are often seen as a pest to fruit crops such as blueberries.
Myna birds are passerine, meaning they are a perching bird and have a medium to chunky build. They range in size from 8 ½ inches to 10 ½ inches long, depending on the species. Myna birds are generally dark and glossy in plumage except for a few, including the Bali Myna, which is a pearly white with a bluish eye patch and black wing and tail tips. This is threatened species, endemic to Bali.
Identification of Some U.S. Species
The Crested Myna and Hill Myna inhabit the entire United States year-round as does the related European Starling. The Crested Myna can be identified by the bushy crest on its forehead, small white wing patch and yellow beak and legs. The Hill Myna can be identified by its glossy black body, reddish-orange bill, small white wing patch, yellow legs and yellow wattles behind the eyes. This bird is sometimes kept as a caged bird due to its great mimicking abilities.