Alternative common names:
The jungle myna is a problem in agricultural areas. It feeds off rubbish and food scraps, and nests in any available space in houses and buildings. Its close association with human habitations causes a wide variety of problems for humans.
Where does this species come from?
India and Southeast Asia.
What is its invasive status in South Africa?
NEMBA Category 2.
Where in South Africa is it a problem?
How does it spread?
Spread through pet trade.
Why is it a problem?
The jungle myna may affect growers of commercial crops due to its love of fruit. It also poses some human health risk as it carries bird mites such as Ornithonyssus bursa and Dermanyssus gallinae, which may infect humans. It can also cause dermatitis, asthma, severe irritation and rashes. Its droppings can also cause psittacosis, ornithosis, salmonellosis and spread arboviruses. In addition, there are concerns that this species may compete for nest sites with indigenous species.
What does it look like?
Description: The jungle myna is a grey-brown bird, 22-24cm, with a tuft of feathers forming a small crest on the forehead and at the base of the bill. It has a black head with the upper areas being more grey-brown, and the chin, breast and belly dark ashy-grey. It has a whitish underside, brownish wings and a typical yellow-orange beak.
Habitat: Its preferred habitat tends to be open, disturbed sites such as cropping lands, orchards, fields, grasslands and urban areas, but can also include forest margins.
Breeding: It usually has two successive broods each year. It tends to nest in colonies. Nests are built from twigs, roots, grass and rubbish, usually in a tree hollow and often close to water. A normal clutch is 3–6 eggs. The incubation period is 17-18 days and the fledging period is 22-24 days.