Friday, March 11, 2016

The Common Mynah and Other Distractions

Mynas on our neighbor's roof

I started to write a post this morning about the interesting things we see on our street, but I got distracted.  First by the clouds from a passing storm this morning, then by the six mynah birds hanging out on our neighbor's roof.

I love the birds we see every day in Hawaii.  

The mynahs are most often seen in pairs, so I suspected they are mating birds.

Being the curious opposable thumbed mammal that I am, I wikipedia'd mynahs and found out some interesting facts:

  • They are a member of the starling family.  I try not to hold this against them.
  • They lay turquoise eggs.  Well, only the females.
  • They mate for life. Apparently they have iron clad prenups.
  • They arrived in Hawaii in the mid-1800's to combat a moth.  Like most creatures, they arrived with baggage, including avian malaria. This, and other reasons, makes them the avian bad boys of the islands.
  • They nest communally, usually within one kilometer of each other in a tree with a dense canopy.  I think we have observed this in one of the hotel parking lots on Banyan Drive.  They make "communal noise" (fancy bird phrase skillfully inserted into blog post) I can tell you it's quite a raucous.
  • They will eat almost anything, including road kill, although their main diet consists of bugs and fruit.
  • They make quite a range of interesting noises.  Some of the sounds remind me of the Predator.
For all their faults, I find them charming and love seeing them around.  After all, they aren't going anywhere (can't fault them for that, neither am I).

Yep, me and the mynahs, we be mates.

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