Javan Myna foraging around human activity

on 19th June 2014

For months on end workers had been widening the drains along the road in my housing estate – an exercise to ensure no puddling occurs after a heavy rain. A few weeks ago was the final phase after the widened drains were covered with concrete slabs that became a pleasant walkway. Between this walkway and the road proper is a strip of exposed earth where the roadside trees grow. Workers were covering the bare earth between trees with slabs of turf.

There were piles of these slabs placed at regular intervals along the road. As a worker was retrieving a few slabs from a pile, a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) lurking nearby (above, arrowed) rushed in for a morsel of earthworm or any other invertebrate that became exposed on the pile. The bird would then stay by the side waiting for the nest batch of turf to be removed. The myna was not too concerned by the presence of the worker, although it tried to get out of the latter’s way. The worker in turn was generally unaware of the antics of the myna.

Javan Mynas are opportunistic birds. They are always around when there is a possibility of an easy meal. In the urban environment they will gather around grass cutters LINK, garbage collectors or even gardening enthusiasts weeding in their gardens LINK. After all, such activities disturb insects lurking among the vegetation or even expose other invertebrates, providing these birds an easy meal.

YC Wee
June 2014

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.

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