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Myna-horse relationship

on 26th May 2006

We are used to seeing mynas hovering around grasscutters or even garbage disposal people. But to see one around a horse? Or chasing the horse when it gallops around the course? Well, Leykun had such an experience, as seen in a letter written on 12th April 2006:

“I was at the Saddle Club recently to practise photography.

“The Common Myna ( Acridotheres tristis) was seen hopping, chasing and even flying after the horse (picture above). I think it was the horse’s butt or smell that attracted the bird. It was very purposeful in its actions as it practically chased the horse for several hundred metres until the horse turned a corner and got out of my sight. I am curious to know what the mynah was going after.”

R. Subaraj has this to say: “Possibly flies or some parasite that were on or around the horse. These could be near the rear end of the horse, causing the myna to follow the horse

“The Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus) of Malaysia and northwards was formerly called the Buffalo Myna as it was often found around water buffalos and cows, picking off the ticks and insects on or around the animal. The Javan Myna has also learnt the value of larger domestic animals pushing up grasshoppers and the like from grassy areas and follow them around. In Singapore, Javan (and Common) Mynas can often be found following lawn mowers, picking up the insects stirred up. Other birds like Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) do it too.”

Thank you Leykun for the interesting story and image; and Subaraj for your comment.

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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