“I was up in Penang Island for a day to conduct a busy workshop for parents of children with special needs. I managed to get there early and spent 15 minutes checking out the lovely, green venue.
“Spotted more than 10 Crested Mynas (Acridotheres cristatellus) at the site, with 2 different pairs nesting.
“The others were a gregarious bunch feeding on the ground while making loud calls. There is a well-established feral population on the island that dates possibly back to the 1950s or even 1920s (See Wells 2007). It was the commonest Myna I saw around the residential areas while driving to the venue. The sub-species is presumed to be A. c. brevipennis.
“Some observations about the plumage:
1. The white patch on the wings is not always seen when they are not flying.
2. The bill is described as ‘ivory-white’ by most guides. This implies it not really white but with a clear yellow tint. The bill can look darker yellow or lighter, partly due to lighting but there is also some variation among birds (see all images).
3. At the base of the lower mandible is a sweet ‘pink’ blush, best seen when the light is not too harsh. It can look orange in some lighting.
4. The vent is black unlike the Great or White-vented Myna (Acridotheres grandis).
5. Very distinctive amber-yellow iris.”
Dato’ Dr Amar-Singh HSS
Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia
7th April 2018
Location: Penang Island, Malaysia
Habitat: Urban environment
Wells, D.R., 2007. The birds of the Thai-Malay Peninsular. Vol. II, Passerines. Christopher Helm, London. 800 pp.