Javan Myna feeding on papaya seeds

on 23rd November 2018

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.

Javan Myna with papaya seed (video grab).

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.

Javan Myna uses its mandibles as a pair of pincers to part the paper (video grab).

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.

YC Wee
3rd November 2018

If you like this post please tap on the Like button at the left bottom of page. Any views and opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the authors/contributors, and are not endorsed by the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM, NUS) or its affiliated institutions. Readers are encouraged to use their discretion before making any decisions or judgements based on the information presented.

YC Wee

Dr Wee played a significant role as a green advocate in Singapore through his extensive involvement in various organizations and committees: as Secretary and Chairman for the Malayan Nature Society (Singapore Branch), and with the Nature Society (Singapore) as founding President (1978-1995). He has also served in the Nature Reserve Board (1987-1989), Nature Reserves Committee (1990-1996), National Council on the Environment/Singapore Environment Council (1992-1996), Work-Group on Nature Conservation (1992) and Inter-Varsity Council on the Environment (1995-1997). He is Patron of the Singapore Gardening Society and was appointed Honorary Museum Associate of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum (LKCNHM) in 2012. In 2005, Dr Wee started the Bird Ecology Study Group. With more than 6,000 entries, the website has become a valuable resource consulted by students, birdwatchers and researchers locally and internationally. The views and opinions expressed in this article are his own, and do not represent those of LKCNHM, the National University of Singapore or its affiliated institutions.

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