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Crested Myna - BirdForum Opus

Alternative names: Chinese Crested Myna; Chinese Jungle Myna; Tufted Myna; Chinese Starling

Photo by Neil Fifer
Hong Kong, November 2006
Acridotheres cristatellus


25cm. A medium-sized, black myna.

  • Plumage mostly black
  • Basal half of primaries white showing large white patch in flight
  • Frontal crest
  • Tail black with white tips
  • Black undertail-coverts with white tips when plumage fresh
  • Olive-yellow to yellow bill, reddish at base of lower mandible
  • Yellow to orange eye
  • Yellow to yellow-orange legs

Sexes similar. Juveniles are browner, have a smaller frontal crest and a bluish eye.

Photo by Karim Madoya
Tuaran, Malaysia, September 2006

Similar species

Great Myna has white undertail-coverts and reddish-brown eyes, Javan Myna has white undertail-coverts, a smaller crest and a bright yellow bill. Jungle Myna is more greyish and has a bluish bill base.


South and southeast China, Taiwan, Laos and Vietnam. Also recorded in eastern Burma.
Introduced in peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, northern Philippines, northwest Borneo, Japan, Canada (around Vancouver), Argentina (Buenos Aires Province) and Portugal (Lisbon and Setubal).
Common to abundant in its range.


Photo by Neil
Hong Kong, China, July 2005


There are 3 subspecies:

  • A. c. cristatellus:
  • South-eastern and central China. Also recorded in eastern Burma but status there unclear.
  • A. c. brevipennis:
  • A. c. formosanus:


Urban parks, gardens and harbours. Paddyfields and lowland forest edges.
Race formosanus is now a shy bird of the mountain forests. Its former range did include the lowlands but it has been displaced by the introduced Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus)



Breeding season April to August. It is a colony nester which nests in cavities which the bird fills with sticks and vegetation. The 4-7 glossy green blue eggs are incubated by both sexes for 14 days; the young fledge 21 days later.


The diet includes insects, fruit, grains, eggs and young birds.


Call varied and can imitate other species and sounds.


  1. Clements, JF. 2010. The Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to December 2010. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/Clements%206.5.xls/view
  2. BF Member observations
  3. 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

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