Dollarbird – Jungle Myna confrontation for nest cavity

on 3rd December 2009

“Took my wife out for a long walk… and also took my camera along. We were in open fields with trees and adjacent to secondary jungle. Wasn’t planning much bird watching but got some spectacular sights.

“We spent 15-20 minutes watching a battle for a nest hole between Dollarbirds (Eurystomus orientalis) and Jungle Mynas (Acridotheres fuscus). It was an abandoned woodpecker’s hole, 5-6 meters up a dead coconut tree trunk (ablove left). The mynas were initially below the Dollarbird (above centre), making sorties upwards to dislodge the Dollarbird who was covering the cavity with its body (above right). Not sure how he managed to grip the surface of the tree trunk.

“It was hard to get shots as the action was fast and furious and the sun was in the way (mid morning). I think there are no young in the nest, just a fight for a nesting hole.

“It is not possible to tell the Dollarbird sexes apart but the presumed male did most of the “fighting” that involved direct confrontation, physically intimidating the mynas (above left) and chasing them in flight. The female only helped three times by “dive bombing” the Jungle Mynas (above right) – the rest of the time she sat quite low on a nearby branch to watch. Both male and female Jungle Mynas fought back.

“There was much aerial combat – with the Dollarbird “dive bombing” the Jungle Mynas to chase them from the hole. There was also much squabbling/calls to intimidate. Also some “face offs”.

“The Dollarbirds won, the male with wings stretched (above right) and the Jungle Mynas retreating (above left)”

Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Tanjung Rambutan area, Perak, Malaysia
Date: 9th February 2009

Check out an earlier account of the Dollarbird physically dragging a parakeet out of its nesting cavity.

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.

Other posts by YC Wee

2 Responses

  1. Just to note that there was a typo for the caption of the last photo, at first I was surprised, thinking that it was a Javan Myna already invaded Ipoh.

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