In 2000, the International Union for the Conservation of Nature declared the common myna (Acridotheres tristis) as one of the world's top 100 most invasive species. They have the potential to cause significant negative impacts on biodiversity.
To help you recognise them, they:
- are brown, with glossy black head, neck and upper breast
- have bright yellow bills, eye skin, legs and feet
- are 23 to 26 centimetres long, weigh between 82 and 143 grams with a wingspan of 120 to 142 millimetres
- have distinctive white patches on wings that are visible in flight.
The noisy miner, which is native to Australia, is distinguished by its grey body.
Problems they cause
This bird is native to India. It has been declared the second greatest threat to native birds after land clearing.
It is currently spreading through eastern Australia. In some areas its arrival is so recent that unknowing residents welcome it into their backyards and encourage it to feed alongside native birds.
Environmentally, mynas may:
- compete aggressively for nesting hollows, displacing and excluding many native wildlife, especially hollow-dependant animals
- be potential reservoirs for diseases, such as avian malaria
- damage fruit, vegetables and cereal crops
- spread weeds, such as lantana and fireweed
- be a social nuisance with large roosts and nests causing noise, mess, potential allergies and a fire hazard.
If they nest in house roofs, their accumulated droppings and mites provide ideal conditions for disease. Inhaled mites can cause asthma and hay fever. Their bites cause itching.
The management of over-abundant common myna populations can be very expensive and is rarely successful.
What we are doing
In 2011, in response to an increasing number of requests from residents and community groups, our Animal Management section conducted a trial common myna bird management program within the Currumbin area. It was based on successful community-led programs undertaken within the Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales. The aim was to provide information about the species to residents and offer resources to humanely capture and euthanise the birds.
After reviewing the trial, we continue to provide common myna bird traps as a service to ratepayers.
What you can do
Birdseed for native birds can attract common mynas. These birds may then dominate your garden and chase away other birds. If you see them in your garden:
- stop putting out birdseed
- feed your pets indoors, if possible, rather than having pet food outside
- feed any chickens or ducks in a secure pen so their food cannot be accessed.
if you have goats or horses, stay with the animals while they are feeding, and clean up spilled or leftover pellets or grain.
Common myna birds nest in tree hollows, roofs, exotic trees and dead, hanging palm fronds. To break the nesting cycle, block holes in roofs and eaves and keep palms trimmed. If using artificial nest boxes to encourage wildlife, use one with a backward-facing entry. This allows access to small possums, gliders, bats and some native birds while preventing common mynas from entering.
Consider borrowing a common myna bird trap from the council to capture them. For further information call us on 1300 GOLD COAST (1300 465 326) or 07 5582 8211.
Report sightings, especially roost sights and large populations, to Myna Scan via their website. This will assist in research and monitoring.
You can also let us know using our online form. Click on the following button and scroll down to 'Pest animals' to report a sighting.
Report a problem – Animals