Javan Mynas in a fight

on 27th August 2010

“I have witnessed Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) fighting on a few occasions but have not managed to put them on record due to various reasons. Either the fight ended when the mynas were disturbed or I was simply without a camera. Then, on 24th July 2010, I finally managed to capture a few images and a short video of the action.

“I was passing by a town park when a noisy ruckus of scolding calls, recognised as from mynas, was heard. True enough, two pairs of Javan Mynas were having a fight on a grass patch some distance away (above and below). Quickly, I whipped out my camera and approached nearer. The mynas were engrossed in their dispute and ignored me as they continued while I started shooting. To better capture the ruckus and flowing action, I decided to switch to video mode. While recording in video mode, the fight ended abruptly when all four mynas suddenly froze and flew away within a second.

“Previous fights that I saw included a one-on-one fight where I was surprised to see a pair of mynas lying, almost motionless, on their sides in a school field. Approaching closer, I saw that they were entangled; with claws clutching to each other in a sort of a lock. Amazingly, no vocalisation was heard on that occasion. It was only later that I realised that they were having a fight when they remained locked together for a long time and were tugging and flapping their wings occasionally.

“Another fight that I witnessed involved probably ten birds with lots of chasing and pecking. They were making a ruckus with plenty of angry scolding calls. As this happened in a busy bus interchange, a few curious commuters gathered to investigate the noise. The mynas were oblivious to the crowd and continued with their fight. Their furious fight started from ground level and continued as they flew onto the roof of the bus interchange.

“Having witnessed a few fights involving Javan Mynas, I believe that such fights are common. Is fighting amongst birds common?”

Kwong Wai Chong
15th August 2010

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

4 Responses

  1. Hi KCT: I have also been observing these mynahs from my kitchen window.I believe they fight because of:

    (1) territorial dispute,
    (2) hierarchal position,
    (3) food,
    (4) ownership of females,
    (5) ?

    Cheers lah, KF

  2. I have witnessed such myna fights of between 10-15 birds in my estate but was without my camera to capture the ruckus.After the fight, several birds were limpping & had difficulty flying away. I have often wonder why it is so common to see mynas limpping or minus a leg or claws.

  3. Sometimes I wonder why we know so little about the more common birds. Is it bcause we are obsessed with rare birds?

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