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Bali myna (Leucopsar rothschildi)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Sturnidae
A common Myna
A common Myna resting on some coconuts, Thanlyin, Myanmar
Myna perched in a flowering tree, Nishiki-e (color woodblock print) by Isoda Koryusai, c. 1775.
Common mynah on a tree. Kollam, Kerala, India.
Common myna, Acridotheres tristis
Two myna sitting together

The myna (also known as mynah) is a bird of the starling family (Sturnidae). This is a group of passerine birds which are native to southern Asia, especially India. Several species have been introduced to areas like North America, Australia, South Africa, Fiji and New Zealand, especially the common myna which is often regarded as an invasive species. It is often known as "Selarang" in Singapore, due to their high population there.

Mynas are not a natural group;[1] instead, the term myna is used for any starling in the Indian subcontinent, regardless of their relationships. This range was colonized twice during the evolution of starlings, first by rather ancestral starlings related to the coleto and Aplonis lineages, and millions of years later by birds related to the common starling and wattled starling's ancestors. These two groups of mynas can be distinguished in the more terrestrial adaptions of the latter, which usually also have less glossy plumage except on the heads and longer tails. The Bali myna which is nearly extinct in the wild is highly distinctive.

Some mynas are considered talking birds, for their ability to reproduce sounds, including human speech, when in captivity.

"Myna" is derived from the Hindi language mainā which itself is derived from Sanskrit madanā.[2][3]


Mynas are medium-sized passerines with strong feet. Their flight is strong and direct, and they are gregarious. Their preferred habitat is fairly open country, and they eat insects and fruit.

Plumage is typically dark, often brown, although some species have yellow head ornaments. Most species nest in holes.

Some species have become well known for their imitative skills; the common hill myna is one of these.


The following are species of mynas. The coleto and the two Saroglossa starlings are included because of their position in the taxonomic list.

Jungle and hill mynas[edit]

"True" mynas[edit]

The following species are often included in the Acridotheres mynas:

In pop culture[edit]

The myna appears as a Looney Tunes/Merrie Melodies cartoon character, simply named "The Myna Bird", who appeared in the Inki series during the 40s, and then later appeared in other Warner Bros. cartoon shorts and as well as Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs, The Sylvester and Tweety Mysteries and a Looney Tune film Tweety's High Flying Adventure.

The myna birds were mentioned in the famous utopian novel Island by Aldous Huxley

In the visual novel Fate/stay night: Heaven's Feel, Illyasiel von Eizbern compares Rin Tohsaka to a myna bird.

In the 30 Rock episode "Florida," Jack Donaghy tells Liz Lemon that the only pet his mother allowed him to have as a child was a myna bird that was later revealed to be her personal spy.

In Twin Peaks a myna bird is a key witness to the murder of Laura Palmer.

In Layton's Mystery Journey a myna bird is the "true culprit" of the game's third case after it defecated onto the scene in question, forcing its projectionist owner to cut it out of the film reel.


  1. ^ Zuccon et al. 2006.
  2. ^ myna. Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 11th Edition. Retrieved November 22, 2012.
  3. ^ New Oxford American Dictionary


  • Zuccon, Dario; Cibois, Alice; Pasquet, Eric; Ericson, Per G. P. (2006). "Nuclear and mitochondrial sequence data reveal the major lineages of starlings, mynas and related taxa". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 41 (2): 333–344. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.05.007. PMID 16806992. 

External links[edit]