“Common Hill-mynas (Gracula religiosa religiosa) have become very uncommon over the past 30 years due to trapping for their ability to mimic calls and human words. As a child I used to see them more often.
“I have seen them a number of times at this forest reserve, once (July 2009) in a flock of seven.
“On this day I was in secondary jungle, bordering primary jungle, when I heard a number of loud ‘ti-ong’. Their local name in Malaysia is ‘Tiong Besar’ (Big Tiong). I could not see them at first as they were feeding in a tree with a number of other birds deeper in. I was able to record a number of their calls as they were unaware of my presence. As I continued to listen they became aware of my presence and moved some distance away. I followed and found then 30 meters away and was again able to watch through a gap in the trees. Until they spotted me and flew away – very shy birds, possibly due to their justifiable fear of man.
“There were at least three birds and from the call sounds juvenile or immature – listen to this recording. Starts off with an adult and possible immature at the end or just normal between mates?
“I have also posted two other audio records of the many whistles they make: HERE and HERE. All these calls were made [when the mynas were] unaware of me and were communication calls between the birds (i.e. none were alarm calls).
“Note: No good view of third bird to confirm immature, just sounded like a juvenile.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ulu Kinta Forest Reserve, Perak, Malaysia
31st October 2010
Red Data Status: Vulnerable
NOTE: The Common Hill-myna sings with its mandibles wide open (top left).