Javan Myna eats Elaeis guineensis fruit

on 4th May 2013

Johnny Wee seeing a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) picking up a fruit of the Oil Palm (Elaeis Guineensis) from the ground may appear a common sight to birdwatchers, if they take any notice of the bird at all. But to a photographer, this is something to document. And yes, it is a new record for BESG as it has still not been recorded in our list of Plant-Bird Relationship LINK.

Javan Myna is an omnivorous bird that eats almost anything, plants as well as animals. In Wells (2007), there is a record of it taking palm fruits but no mention of oil palm. Similarly, there is no mention of oil palm fruit in Craig & Feare (2009).

Johnny Wee
May 2013

Craig, A. J. F. K. & C. J. Feare, 2009. Family Sturnidae (Starlings). In: del Hoyo, J., A. Elliott & D. A. Christie (eds.). Handbook of the birds of the world. Vol. 14. Bush-shrikes to Old World Sparrows. Lynx Editions, Barcelona. Pp. 654-758.
2. Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.

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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

3 Responses

  1. The common myna Acridotheres tristis, the jungle crow Corvus macrorhynchus and the house crow Corvus splendens feed on oil palm fruits and are considered as major pests of oil palm in India. In addition, the crow pheasant Centropus sinensis, hanging parrot Loriculus sp. and pariah kite Milvus migrans have also been reported to feed on oil palm fruits in India.

  2. Valuable information on birds feeding on oil palm fruits. All the birds you mentioned not reported in the Handbook of the Birds of the World except kite and hanging-parrot. Thanks.

  3. Does anyone know if birds are considered pests in oil palm plantations in M’sia because of their consumption of the oil palm fruit?

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