Common Myna Problems!

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ShaneO
ShaneO's picture
Common Myna Problems!

I've only just joined this forum, and this has probably been asked many times before (although I couldn't find any reference), but how do people get rid of Common Myna birds from invading their backyard?

They've only arrived in our particular neighbourhood in the last year or so (Ipswich, Qld) but have been very aggressive towards all the other species and are succeeding in driving them away!

What do other people do? Is there something I can do or am I just stuck with the inevitability that the only species I'm going to soon see in my backyard are Common Mynas?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Shane.

marj
marj's picture

ANU have some advice on trapping and euthanasing
http://sres-associated.anu.edu.au/myna/index.html

Limit the spread of the species by reducing its feeding and breeding opportunities.

Discourage your neighbours from leaving food scraps in parks, public places or road sides.

Limit backyard feeding sources by:
Covering composting food scraps,
Covering or moving pet food that would otherwise be exposed to the birds during the day. Exposed
pet food, such as dog or cat biscuits, is a favoured food source for these birds.

Plant native species in your gardens as this encourages native birds into the area.

Indian Mynas favour exotic vegetation; especially cocos palm trees, which they use as food sources, and for nesting and protection.

Limit backyard nesting opportunities by:
Identifying and patching up any holes or possible nesting places these birds utilise around your house and or carport.

ShaneO
ShaneO's picture

Thank-you Marj for your prompt and thorough reply to my question.

I guess my wife and I have contributed to the problem as we have been leaving feed for the other birds from time to time, which has obviously also been consumed by the Mynas.

We'll need to look closely at your recommendations and initiate a plan so as not to encourage these birds to stay around.

Thanks again.

Shane.

marj
marj's picture

I just saw the segment on Mynas on the Sunday Program - and thought Birds in Backyards' Richard Major made a lot of sense.

We have encouraged the spread of mynas through habitat changes, and this should be how we control them (and Noisy Miners and White Ibis) through managing the environment rather than trapping and killing.

One of my neighbours throws bread and other food scraps on the nature strip which I think is a big No No.

ShaneO
ShaneO's picture

I've also just watched the segment on the Sunday programme.

I will however be pursuing the trapping and killing method as these birds have completely taken-over the habitat in our backyard at the enormous expense of all the native birds that have nested there for years.

We've obviously created the problem here in Australia and allowed it to go on for too long, so it may take drastic measures to at least pull the situation back under control.

Shane.

Holly
Holly's picture

It was an interesting story, and am glad you both liked it.

The issue of Common Mynas certainly is a controversial one - my concern is that there is surprisingly little scientific research on the topic. In Canberra they have demonstrated that Common Mynas excluded rosellas from nest boxes in remnants - certainly there may be an issue there.
In a study we did, we found gardens in Sydney were just as likley to have any of the 7 small birds we surveyed for, with or without Common Mynas (in fact superb fairy-wrens and willie wagtails were more likely to be found in gardens with Common Mynas) - however gardens with Noisy Miners were less likely to have any small birds in them.

It seems to be that the issues may be location dependant - however I think a LOT more research needs to be done to determine just if, and if they are, to what degree, they are impacted on native birds. Despite what a lot of people assume, there has been very little actual research in the area - its quite scary.

If they are impacting on native birds, then the effort to control them needs to be on a large scale. Unfortunately many councils are not having much success with these traps - catching a few birds just creates a hole that then makes room for more to move in. These traps are not cheap, I think if people are going to spend the money on them, we need to know that they are going to actually work!

marj
marj's picture

I work at the University of Newcastle which has a wonderful bushland campus, and over the last 15 years I noticed that Noisy Miners have increased dramatically and the fairywrens and finches have almost disappeared.

The mynas seem to hang around the food outlets and the bins - not really competing for the insects.

laurenm1928

I have a common myna bird that seems to enjoy licking my windows. I have caught it on numerous occasions flying at the window and licking it, and now I have inch long tongue marks everywhere. I have taped hula skirts to the roof above the window to provide something to scare it off but the bird keeps pushing them aside and licking the window. I have also put up a sheet and taped it to the window but the bird pulls off the tape, or sticks it head in between thw window and the sheet. Could anyone help me find something to keep this dtermined bird away?

Woko
Woko's picture

Laurenm, I strongly suspect you'll need to use a broader, more ecological approach to deter this pesky & downright destructive Common Myna. Other than boarding up your window this bird is able to get past physical barriers that might be tried. 

Firstly, growing vegetation indigenous to your area will encourage native birds of a wide range of species & these should provide strong competition for the Myna. Importantly, it will also discourage other Common Mynas from invading your neighborhood & becoming a real ecological pest. 

To optimize the effect of the indigenous vegetation I suggest you try to replicate as closely as possible the natural structure of the bushland which grows or used to grow in your neighborhood as this will encourage a wider diversity of bird species to compete with the myna. If you have a compact block of land then it's more difficult to do this but "as closely as possible" is much, much better than not at all. 

Secondly, block any holes in human structures that would allow Common Mynas to enter & build nests, And if you see Mynas using natural nesting hollows in trees clean out the nests & any eggs.

Next, ensure you don't leave rubbish lying around which Mynas can use as nesting material. 

Also, avoid leaving food scraps around. And avoid artificially feeing birds. Enabling them to use natural food sources will reduce the likelihood of Mynas exploiting unnatural left overs. 

Then encourage your neighbors to sally forth & do likewise. A neighborhood or community approach is more likely to be effective than an individual acting solo. 

All this is a long term approach to deterring the Myna but, sadly, that's so often the approach that's needed when you're confronted with a problem that seems to have a short term solution. 

Trapping Mynas might be helpful but it needs to be part of an ecological approach otherwise more Mynas will invade from outside & you'll be continually stuck with the problem because of this species' horrific invasiveness. Contact your council for a trap. If it doesn't have one encourage it to get one or more. In fact, do the environment a favor & repeatedly encourage it to get one or more as part of an overall Common Myna eradication programme. A number of councils have such programmers as people become increasingly aware of the undesirability of having Common Mynas in our landscapes. 

If, for whatever reason, you're not up to all this then, beyond smearing your window with a really distasteful, adhesive substance, you might be stuck with the Myna which then becomes a major problem as more Mynas almost certainly will tread where its comrade has gone before. 

laurenm1928

Thanks for the advice Woko. I've noticed some of their nests around my house and so I think that they will be the first things to go and then I'll find some plants to encourage native birds. Hopefully that myna will get bord and find that its too much effort to persure my window!

Woko
Woko's picture

I'm not sure about Mynas but some other species attack their reflections, particularly in breeding season. It seems to be to ward off a perceived competitor. However, your bird is more on about licking your window, you say. What would happen if you thoroughly cleaned your window?!!? No aspersions cast, of course! 

 and @UrbanBirdsOz  @birdsinbackyards
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