Mimicry by Common Mynah's

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cooee's picture
Mimicry by Common Mynah's

Hello everyboby, I have noticed resently that commom mynahs (indian mynahs or also mynas) around my house have been making some unusuall sounds. I heard one mimicing the sound of a koel, it wasn't perfect but it was pretty good. I did a little research and I found out that all the members of the sturnidae family posses the power of mimicry. I found out that a chinese mynah scared away two parrots by meowing like a cat. I also found out that starlings can copy the sounds of black birds. These birds are part of the sturnidae family and so is the indian mynah. So I did a little test and made a few random noises in the presence of indian mynah and they are kind of getting it. I did a little ricketing thing a bit like the willie wagtail and the mynahs gave a little "trbrbrbrbrbrt". Has any one else noticed this? By the way, I also saw one with some type of eye problem, is this just a random injury or disease.

Birdsong's picture

You are right about their to mimic other birds, anything from kookaburras to the "hee haw" of young galahs, I must make a list one day.

Birdsong's picture

You are right about their being able to mimic other birds, anything from kookaburras to the "hee haw" of young galahs, I must make a list one day.


Hmmm, once I thought I heard a blackbird and when I investigated I found a starling, I thought that mabye the blackbird flew off and the starling was there but maybe it was mimicry?

1wattlebird's picture

Hi, the Mynahs in my yard also are good at mimicry and I do believe that I have heard one mimic a fire engine/ambulance/police siren (why are they different, I mean how are people supposed to tell). I love the Mynahs, and feed lots of them. In some people’s eyes I feed too many! Out of the ones I feed, about twelve I know very well and I also know that one has lost it's left eye. She was abandoned by her partner and a more sensitive sole replaced him and they are still together and have raised at least two chicks, one is very noisy! (Since spring there have been many noisy chicks). The eye has not affected the bird too much and I knew her before the fight/twig. I have seen many mangy looking ones in the half decade (maybe longer) that I have been feeding them, this is due to their malting and sometimes they only malt around the eyes. This gives their eyes an ‘infected’ look. Another Mynah had an eye infection and I fed her and she got better. She was young at the time, but still that properly makes her now about 5+ years old. Back to the mimicry, Mynahs are clever birds (not as clever as Parrots, but still very clever). I have hand fed birds including: Magpies, Noisy Miners, Wattlebirds, and a Blackbird. Though I have not been able to hand feed a Mynah, not even when it was very hungry! Starlings do visit my garden, but not in the numbers needed to find one that mimics.

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