Gracula

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"Hill myna" redirects here. In aviculture, this often refers to the common hill myna (G. religiosa) specifically.
Gracula
Gracula.svg
Diversity and distribution within the genus
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
Genus: Gracula
Linnaeus, 1758
Diversity
see text
Synonyms
  • Eulabes

Gracula is a genus of mynas, tropical members of the starling family of birds found in southern Asia and introduced to Florida, U.S.A.

Taxonomy and systematics[edit]

Until recently only two species were recognised, G. religiosa and G. ptilogenys. Previously, all Gracula were considered to belong to a very variable species commonly called hill myna. Three additional subspecies of G. religiosa are increasingly being considered as distinct species. Formerly, the Sri Lanka hill myna was considered to be a subspecies of the common hill myna, but today all major authorities recognise them as separate. Comparably, the Enggano, Nias and Southern hill mynas have traditionally been treated as subspecies of the common hill myna; a treatment still preferred by some authorities.

Extant species[edit]

Five extant species are recognized:[1]

Former species[edit]

Formerly, some authorities also considered the following species (or subspecies) as species within the genus Gracula:

Description[edit]

These 25–30 cm long birds have glossy black plumage and large white wing patches which are obvious in flight. The bill and strong legs are bright yellow or orange, and there are yellow wattles on the head, the shape and position of which vary with species. The sexes are similar, but juveniles have a duller bill.

Vocalisations[edit]

Hill mynahs are renowned for their ability to mimic the human voice. It has been claimed that the hill mynah is the best talking bird and the best mimic in the world.[2]

Distribution and habitat[edit]

This genus has representatives in tropical southern Asia from India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka east to Indonesia, and the common hill myna, a popular cage bird, has been introduced to the United States.

Behaviour and ecology[edit]

Breeding[edit]

The hill mynas are resident breeders typically found in forest and cultivation. The nest is built in a hole and the usual clutch is two or three eggs.

Food and feeding[edit]

Like most starlings, the hill mynas are fairly omnivorous, eating fruit, nectar and insects.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "IOC World Bird List 7.1". IOC World Bird List Datasets. doi:10.14344/ioc.ml.7.1. 
  2. ^ Butterfield, Kathy. "Owning a Mynah". The AACC Homepage. 
  • Grimmett, Richard; Inskipp, Carol; Inskipp, Tim (1999). Birds of India. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-691-04910-6. 
  • Feare, Chris; Craig, Adrian (1999). Starlings and Mynas. Princeton University Press. ISBN 0-7136-3961-X. 

External links[edit]