A pair of adult Common Mynas (Acridotheres tristis tristis) was seen by Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS collecting feathers (left) from a dead Yellow-vented Bulbul (Pycnonotus goiavier) that was lying on the road (above). This was on 9th March 2010 in the Malaysian city of Ipoh in Perak.
The mynas were transporting the feathers to their nest on top of an old air-condition unit (right). The untidy nest was made up of lots of grass, plastic, paper, etc.
Mynas usually construct their nests with whatever material they come across, including feathers, “but it still surprised me that they would use a ‘dead colleague’ so to speak,” wrote Amar. “Well at least the Yellow-vented Bulbul’s death was not ‘wasted’.
On 18th April Amar reported two more unusual nests – one built into a crack near the top of a cement electrical pole, 4-5 meters up (left). Both adults were busy at work, getting the nest ready for their young. The second nest was a chance observation. The myna was seen flying high up to the street light, 6-7 meters up (above). The adult pair was later observed working on their nest using dried grass, plastic and paper. It is not sure if they prised the lighting structure open or found it already defective.
The Common Myna is considered some of the smartest of the urban birds. They appear to be able to survive in the concrete jungle mankind is creating.