Javan Myna soaking in the sun

posted in: Feathers-maintenance, Videography | 0

Recently Singapore experienced daily rain and strong wind that brought a dip in temperature to between 21ºC and 24ºC. This is an unusual cold spell that we have not experienced for a long time, if at all. Added to these were the cloudy days without sunshine. The weather has so far turned round for the better and today the sun was out blazing.

MynaJ-sun bath

What caught my eyes this afternoon when I walked out of the house was the presence of a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus). It sat motionless on the grassy ground of my garden, its back towards the sun and head tilted sideways (above, below). The pointed head covered with pointy black feathers ended in a prominent pointed yellow bill. It was obviously soaking in the sun to get relief from the recent cold spell.

MynaJ-sun bath

By the time I got out my video cam, the head had moved so that I could see that the bill was agape, to get rid of excessive heat through panting. The right eye was a distinct round patch of light yellow, with a dot of a pupil to cut off most of the sun’s rays (see video below).

Suddenly it moved vigorously, first preening its neck feathers, then its wing feathers. After further soaking in the sun, it proceeded to preen its wing feathers and scratching its head. In between it continued to pant as seen in the gaping mandibles, before walking away, mandibles still gaping.

Such an activity is part of the bird’s comfort behaviour to keep the feathers in top form… and possibly to increase the flow of preen-oil LINK.

YC Wee
18th January 2018


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