Javan Myna confronts a monitor lizard

posted in: Interspecific, Videography | 6

“When there is an encounter between the Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) and the Clouded Monitor Lizard (Varanus nebulosus), guess who wins?

“About 5 months ago, a 95 cm long clouded monitor has found home in a hole in a Golden Shower Tree (Cassia fistula) within my condominium grounds. As I have a good view of the tree and its surrounding area from my apartment, I could easily monitor the activities of the monitor. It forages for earthworms and perhaps crickets on the grass slope below the tree, sharing the ground with mynas, spotted doves and rock pigeons. All the birds were wary of the large reptile and kept their distance from it. And it leads a rather peaceful life here, free from disturbances except from the fortnightly grass cutting.

“Then one day it happened. About a month ago, when I was looking out of my bedroom window, I saw a Javan Myna hopping and going after the monitor. I was surprised to see it running away from the bird. In spite of its size, it is such a timid animal! Before I could grab my camera, the reptile has already gone out of sight.

“Since that incidence it has gone missing, only returning two days ago and peering out of the tree hole when the grass cutters came by. Presumably it has found a place with better cover to avoid the harassment from the omnipresent Mynas.

“…the above video documents the typical daily activities of this monitor. To make the video even more interesting, I have added in the sound track the songs of the following birds, all of which were recorded in my condominium: 1) Common Iora; 2) Collared Kingfisher; 3) Black-naped oriole; 4) Oriental Magpie Robin (free not caged); 5) Peaceful (Zebra) Dove (very soft); and 6) Spotted Dove.

Sun Chong Hong
14th October 2010

6 Responses

  1. hamesha

    Its a lovely video. peaceful animal. we have had one living in our garden for a couple years. we have seen a second, smaller one too occasionally.

    It once made its way inside our bedroom via a window that had been left open. needed a kind of a ladder made of a chair to climb back up on the window sill after an hour of gentle persuasion.

    When i called my naturalist friend on why the monitor lizard wld not leave our bedroom after making it easy for him to, he said time was not the same for a monitor lizard as for us !

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