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Javan Mynas foraging for chicks in the nest

on 29th November 2017

On the morning of 4th October 2017 as I was at my compost heap, an adult Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) dropped part of an egg shell from above – see also HERE. What this meant was that there was a nesting nearby.

Adult Javan Myna with food in its bill.
Adult Javan Myna with food in its bill.

In an effort to calculate when I should expect to encounter one or more begging fledgling following a pair of adults in my garden, I looked up my reference books for the number of days from hatching to fledging for this myna. Imagine my surprise when I found out that there are limited breeding information available. Only the incubation period is available: 13-14 days. No information on how many days it takes for the chicks to fledge after hatching. Such a common bird and we still do not know much about its breeding behaviour!

Adult Javan Myna with food in its bill about to fly off.
Adult Javan Myna with food in its bill about to fly off.

I will have to wait until I hear the begging cries of the recently fledged juveniles in my garden and then calculate the number of days from hatching to fledging. In the meantime, the adults are actively foraging to feed the hungry chicks.

Their favourite forging area is my compost heap. Whenever I am working there, the adults will fly in to forage, even when I was around. There are plenty of compost fauna for the hungry mynas and their chicks (see video below).

One thing I noticed was that the adults gave priority to the hungry chicks before they themselves started feeding. Both adults gathered worms in their bill and flew off, to return soon. This they did a few times before they themselves started feeding.

video grab
video grab

A few days later I noticed that the adults were bringing food to the nest lodged under the roof of my neighbour’s house. The adults were caught on video entering the space under the rood (above) and although feeding could not be seen, the excitement of the chicks could clearly be heard on video (below).

YC Wee
Singapore
11th October 2017

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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