Javan Myna anting with a millipede

posted in: Feathers-maintenance | 0

Kwong Wai Chong in an earlier post showed two Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) using millipedes in their anting behavior.

Javan Myna anting with millipede (Photo credit: Kwong Wai Chong)
Javan Myna anting with millipede in another occasion (Photo credit: Kwong Wai Chong)

Today I was fortunate to witness a Javan Myna in my garden doing the same. It was evening and a pair of mynas was foraging among the grass. This pair was my resident mynas that appear regularly. The two adults had been training a newly fledged juvenile to fend for itself and this was past the begging phase. The mynas could be the pair of adults, in which case the juvenile would be on its own by now. On the other hand, one could be an adult and the other a juvenile, and this indicates the tail end of the fledging period.

I was keeping watch to see whether there was another myna (thus making a pair of adults and a juvenile) when one of the mynas suddenly picked up something from the low grassy area and applied it to its feathers. In doing so the body was contorted and the myna jumped about. Three times it did this, each time picking up the object that had fallen on the ground, to repeat the process.

The action was too fast for me to make a photographic record. By the time I got my video cam, the mynas were some distance away foraging.

millipede - Trigoniulus sp.

Examining the site, I found a rolled-up millipede (Trigoniulus sp.), no worse for its experience (above). So, the myna was anting with a millipede after all.

YC Wee
15th September 2017

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