A second attempt at establishing the fledgling period of Javan Myna

The two adults showed concern when there were “strange” cries coming from the branches of the tree.

Every morning since 27th March 2018, a family of Javan Mynas (Acridotheres javanicus) comprising two adults and a recently fledged juvenile, walked through my garden to forage. This was followed by a return walk in the evenings. The characteristic begging cries of the juvenile announce their presence. After all, they nest under the roof of my back-neighbour’s house LINK. The video below shows the adults foraging with the 10 days old fledgling.

The adults brought the juvenile through my garden and out to the main road in front. From there they moved along the pavement, sometimes ending in a wayside tree where the adults flew in fruits like those of the Singapore Rhododendron (Melastoma malabathricum) nearby to the noisy juvenile. The video below records the adults with the 12 days old fledgling foraging.

These were teaching sessions on how to survive outside the nest: foraging for food, recognising potential predators and how to avoid them. The adults walked around, picking up food to eat. The juvenile followed and beg loudly for food. Once in a while an adult would pass something to the juvenile. With time the juvenile learnt to pick up food for itself but it still kept on begging the adults for food. The video below shows the adults with the 15 days old juvenile.

By day 17 the juvenile was seen following one adult. There were no begging cries. The juvenile was feeding by itself. The following day only the two adults were seen foraging in the garden. The juvenile was nowhere in sight.

Did the juvenile moved off to be independent of the adults? At day 18? If so, the fledgling period was only 18 days, compared to the earlier 25 days, see HERE.

YC Wee
Singapore
15th April 2018

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2 Responses

  1. Lee Chiu San

    After how many days do juvenile Javan mynas become independent and learn to feed themselves without parental help? In an earlier post done in collaboration with myself, our good webmaster said 25 days. In this post he said 18.
    I would say that the length of time depends on circumstances and the patience of the parents.
    Serious bird keepers always warn against forcing young birds to wean and learn to feed themselves too early. Such birds will often be underweight for life, and will generally display poor feather condition.
    On the other hand, like people, the baby birds themselves will often want to extend their dependency period far beyond normal expectations.
    I cannot speak from experience about Javan mynas in captivity. Even though it is believed that they were introduced to Singapore through the pet bird trade, they are so common today that hardly anyone in aviculture breeds them.
    But I can talk about the much more valuable Indian Hill Mynas which are now being commercially bred.
    Baby mynas will refuse to take care of themselves independently as long as someone is around to pander to their needs.
    Many bird keepers want pets that are very tame. To encourage tameness and dependency, they continue to hand-feed their pets long after they should have been capable of taking care of themselves. We know for a fact that young Hill Mynas will not pick up their own food as long as somebody continues to put it into their beaks.
    Some may not be weaned and independent until they are two or three months old.
    And with the large parrots and macaws, there may be babies eight or more months old that still insist on being hand fed.

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  2. Yes, I would agree with you on this. After all, why should you do things yourself when there are others willing to do for you!

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