Common Hill-myna eating Canthium glabrum fruits

posted in: Feeding-plants | 7

HillMynaC-Canthium glabrum [JWee] 1

The main diet of the Common Hill-myna (Gracula religiosa) (above) is fruits. Besides fruits it also takes nectar, insects and small animals like lizards.

With fruits of up to 2cm diameter, it swallows them together with their seeds. Large seeds would subsequently be regurgitated (Craig & Feare, 2009). In this way the hill-myna assists in seed dispersal.

HillMynaC-Canthium glabrum [JWee] 2

Fruits taken include Ficus spp. and Oncosperma tigillaria (Craig & Feare, 2009; Wells, 2007). Canthium rubrum or commonly known as Green Coffee or Kopi Utan (jungle coffee) because the fruits look like coffee-berries (above), is a new food record.

Thanks to Boo Chih Min and Prof Jean Yong for identifying the plant.

Johnny Wee
Singapore
25th July 2016

References;
1.
Craig, AJFK & CJ 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.

10+

7 Responses

  1. Lee Chiu San

    Sad to say that the Hill Mynah appears to have lost one more habitat in Singapore. This species used to inhabit the Seletar, Jalan Kayu area. But with the widespread eviction of the farmers in the area, and the redevelopment of Seng Kang, I no longer hear its very distinctive calls, though a few individuals may still be hanging on in the very small patch of abandoned farmland between the Seletar Expressway and Yio Chu Kang Road. Even this area will soon make way for an industrial park.
    This is an extremely popular and expensive bird in aviculture. With the banning of imports from Indonesia and Thailand, the local population is under severe pressure from poachers. They are very easy to track as their calls are loud and frequent. They are also easy to take as they are large birds, and nest in holes in trees that are of sufficient girth to support a human climber.
    The only place in Singapore where you have a good chance of seeing Hill Mynahs with any regularity is the Botanic Gardens, a well patrolled and protected area. If you know of Hill Mynahs anywhere else in Singapore, please keep the information to yourself.

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  2. Lee Chiu San

    Sad to say that the Hill Mynah appears to have lost one more habitat in Singapore. This species used to inhabit the Seletar, Jalan Kayu area. But with the widespread eviction of the farmers there, and the redevelopment of Seng Kang, I no longer hear its very distinctive calls.
    This is an extremely popular and expensive bird in aviculture. With the banning of imports from Indonesia and Thailand, the local population is under severe pressure from poachers. They are very easy to track as their calls are loud and frequent. They are also easy to take as they are large birds, and nest in holes in trees that are of sufficient girth to support a human climber.
    The only place in Singapore where you have a good chance of seeing Hill Mynahs with any regularity is the Botanic Gardens, a well patrolled and protected area. If you know of Hill Mynahs anywhere else in Singapore, please keep the information to yourself.
    Thanks to our friends who made this post, who have cleverly decided not to tell us where they saw the bird.

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    • These birds are not native to Singapore right? If so, where did this population come from?

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  3. Thanks for the very informative comment.

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  4. This mynah was seen here in Singapore? I didn’t know we had hill mynas here – I presume they are escaped pets?

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  5. Check out Lee Chiu San’s comment above.

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  6. To refer to Am’s query on whether hill-mynas are native to Singapore, yes they are.

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