Common Myna – fruit feeding (new food source)

posted in: birds, Feeding-plants | 0

Although the Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis tristis) is an omnivore with a wide range of diet, I have predominantly seen it take insects and invertebrates, with the occasional small vertebrate (frog or lizard). Its generic name ‘Acridotheres’ mean ‘grasshopper hunter’. Nectar and fruit feeding, although reported, are less commonly observed. I have seen it at fruiting Ficus benjamina in the past but not seen actual fruit feeding. At my home I have seen it take the fruit of the Azadirachta indica (Neem Tree). Today I saw 4 birds feeding actively on a fruiting Ficus (see below). Fruit was taken whole and not processed. It will also feed on/drink the nectar of Spathodea campanulata (African Tulip Tree) held in the flower-cups.

For my region, Wells (2009) notes that it takes the following fruits: Berries of GlochidionVitex pinnata (also called V. pubescens) and the flesh of Jambu & Papaya.

Internationally, Handbook of Birds of the World 2019 adds the following fruit items: Figs, Dates, Apples, Pears, Tomatoes, Strawberries, Grapes, Guava, Mango, Breadfruit and Jackfruit.

An image search offered 2 images (one in OBI) of it eating a Ficus but piece-meal, a few images (same bird) at a fruiting Glochidion, 3 images of it eating some fruit (possibly papaya) either discarded or offered by man.


Amar-Singh HSS (Dato’ Dr)

Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

28th January 2019


Location: Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia

Habitat: Urban environment

Equipment: Nikon D500 SLR with Tamron SP 150-600mm f/5-6.3 Di VC USD, handheld


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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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