We were drying Papaya (Carica papaya) seeds on a piece of tissue paper in the open when a Javan Myna (Acridotheres javanicus) flew in and fed on the semi-dried seeds. There were two visits, one for five minutes and the other two minutes.
The seven minutes of feeding saw 28 successful attempts at swallowing the seeds and 21 failed attempts. The latter involved failure to pick up the seeds or the seeds dropped off the bill before they can be swallowed. This works out to about 57% successful and 43% failed attempts at eating the seeds.
Generally, the feeding was fast. The second feeding saw half the tissue was blown over the seeds, totally covering them. The myna used its mandibles as a pair of pincers to part the paper so as to get access to the seeds (below) and LINK.
Birds that feed on papaya prefer the flesh. Only when the flesh is all eaten up will they attempt at eating the seeds LINK. We now have evidence that Javan Mynas will feed on papaya seeds. After all, they are opportunistic feeders. This is how it is successful in Singapore’s urban areas LINK.
3rd November 2018
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