Hill Myna stealing an egg

posted in: Feeding-vertebrates | 2

On 18th September 2007, KC Tsang wrote: “I was at Upper Seletar this morning, and a flock of screaming Hill Mynas (Gracula religiosa) descended on a bare tree. There were about 15 of them, so wondering what the commotion was about, went nearer to the flock.

“Found that one of them had an egg between its bill, managed to take a picture of it, the bird with egg is at the top left hand corner (above left, arrow). And the next moment the myna lost the egg, the second picture shows the egg falling down, in the middle of the picture (above right, arrow).

“Whose egg was it? And why did the rest of the Hill Mynas got so excited about this Hill Myna having stolen an egg. Also, the egg was a bit too big for it to swallow…”

Hill Mynas are omnivorous. There have been records of them taking figs, swarming termites, large insects, lizards and even a snake. But I have not been able to locate any report of the bird raiding nests to take the eggs.

Can this be the first record?

According to R Subaraj, our bird specialist, there is no reason why Hill Myna should not raid nests for the eggs. The fact that there is no recorded observations does not mean that this myna does not indulge in such an activitiy.

KC Tsang with comment by R Subarag
September 2007

PS: Just before posting, these thoughts came to me: Did the bird intentionally let go of the egg to break it? Did it fly down to feast on the contents? Are Hill Myna intelligent enough to do this? YC

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