“At times you need to go to foreign land to better appreciate a bird in our own home. I have always valued common birds but not looked hard into the iris of the Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis tristis) until I met some friendly ones in Nepal (above).
“I was surprised to note a circular array of silvery white spots in a close-up view (above, below). It was present in all the Common Mynas I saw in Nepal.
“Looking back at all my images of birds in Malaysia, the same feature is also present. However the pattern and density of the spots varies. I searched on line and came across this lovely article: Feare, Edwards, Taylor, et al. Stars in their eyes: iris colour and pattern in Common Mynas Acridotheres tristis on Denis and North Islands, Seychelles. Bull. B.O.C. 2015 135(1). Available for download HERE.
“Truly stars in their eyes; so much more to learn about the ‘common’ birds. Also note the clear black marking at the base of the lower mandible, also variable in intensity and occasionally a bit bluish.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
7th November 2017
Location: Dhampus, Gandaki Zone, Western Region, Nepal, 1800m ASL
Habitat: Small village with secondary growth