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Common Myna - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Indian Mynah; House Myna; Locust Starling

Breeding pair, nominate subspecies
Nesting in neighborhood garden, the pair came frequently for a drink
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Delhi, India, 11 June 2015
Acridotheres tristis


23–27 cm (9-10 in). A fairly large, stocky Myna.

  • Brownish plumage
  • Black hood
  • Bare yellow eye-patch
  • Very short frontal crest
  • Dark brown wing with large white wing patches, obvious in flight
  • White vent and centre of belly
  • Yellow legs and bill

Sexes similar. Juveniles are duller and browner.

Photo © by AJDH
Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia, 2 August 2006


Found from Central Asia (Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan) south to Iran, Afghanistan, almost the entire Indian Subcontinent and east to Burma, South China (Yunnan and Hainan), Thailand, Indochina, the Malay Peninsula and Singapore.
Has been introduced widely elsewhere, including Florida, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Brunei, Sumatra, Taiwan, Japan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iraq, Jordan, Israel, Russia (around Moscow and in Trans-Baikal region), St Helena and Ascension Island, Tenerife, Hawaii, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, Fiji, Samoa (and many other small Pacific islands), Madagascar, Comoros, Seychelles, Maldives and Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
Common to abundant in its range.



Two subspecies recognized[1]:

  • A. t. melanosternus in Sri Lanka
  • A. t. tristis in the rest of the range
Nominate subspecies
Photo © by Gopal Bhaskaran
Coorg, India, 5 July 2005


Typically in open woodland, cultivation and around habitation, also in towns and cities. Avoids forest. Occurs up to 3000m in the Himalayas, up to 1525m in southeast Asia.


Forms communal roosts in trees, sometimes with thousands of birds. May roost with other species like Javan Myna, Asian Glossy Starling, Purple-backed Starling, Common Starling, Rosy Starling or Crows, Parakeets and Sparrows.


Omnivorous. Feeds on insects, frogs, fish, geckos, other small lizards, eggs and nestlings, mice, carrion, worms, snails, spiders, seeds, fruit and nectar. The generic name Acridotheres means "grasshopper hunter".
Forages singly or in pairs, mostly on the ground.


Photo © by the late Rookery
Havelock North, New Zealand, 29 December 2009

Breeding season differs through range, breeds all year in India. Monogamous, belived to form pairs for life. Nests solitary. The nest is placed in tree holes, particularly palms but also in other nooks and crannies (including buildings). The normal clutch is 4 - 6 eggs.


A resident species.


The song includes croaks, squawks, chirps, clicks and whistles and it often fluffs its feathers and bobs its head in singing. The Common Myna screeches warnings to its mate or other birds in cases of predators in proximity.

Dwarahat, Dist. Almora, Uttarakhand Himalayas, Alt. 5200 ft above MSL, India, April-2015.
Calls given by a pair carrying pine-needles to a hole in the wall, to be used as a nesting site.

Dwarahat, Dist. Almora, Uttarakhand Himalayas, Alt. 5200 ft above MSL, India, April-2017.
Communicating calls between two individuals after Sunset.
Both Recordings © by Alok Tewari

Thrush like song mixed with a variety of calls; calls of Eurasian Collared Dove are also heard in the recording.

Residential Block, New Delhi, India, 29 March 2022.
Recording © by Alok Tewari


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliott, and D Christie, eds. 2009. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 14: Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8496553507
  3. Baker, A. J. and A. Moeed. (1987). Rapid genetic differentiation and founder effect in colonizing populations of Common Mynas (Acridotheres tristis). Evolution 41:525-538.
  4. Craig, A., Feare, C. & Garcia, E.F.J. (2020). Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from https://www.hbw.com/node/60874 on 25 January 2020).
  5. Kannan, R. and D. A. James (2001). Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (A. F. Poole and F. B. Gill, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bna.583
  6. Pratt, H.D., Bruner, P., and Berrett, D.G. (1987) A Field Guide to the Birds of Hawaii and the Tropical Pacific. Princeton University Press.
  7. Pyle, R.L., and P. Pyle. 2017. The Birds of the Hawaiian Islands: Occurrence, History, Distribution, and Status. B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, HI, U.S.A. Version 2 (1 January 2017) http://hbs.bishopmuseum.org/birds/rlp-monograph/
  8. Rasmussen, P.C. & Anderton, J.C. 2012. Birds of South Asia. The Ripley Guide. Vols. 1 and 2. Second Edition. Smithsonian Institution. Michigan State University & Lynx Edicions, Washington. D.C., Michigan & Barcelona.

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