birding-aus Philip A Veerman - common mynas

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Subject: birding-aus Philip A Veerman - common mynas
From: Penny Drake-Brockman <>
Date: Wed, 3 Feb 1999 14:31:48 +1000

Having just had a week in North Island New Zealand, and driven from
Auckland to Pureora Forest Reserve (central near Taupo) in a 3rd (and vain)
attempt to see the Kokako (but did hear some!!!) mynas also to be rivalling
common starlings, particularly in urban settings.  At a small town near
Pureora I saw gatherings of 30-100 mynas in the evenings on roadsides or
short grass, chattering and exchanging the day's news before bedtime. No
doubt the absence of other birds in NZ's cleared areas leaves the field
wide open for their increase - maybe to rival the 10s of 1000s I saw on
Hawaii Big island in 1994 behind a guest house on the central southern
coast, coming into roost in a grove of large trees, and huge flocks
together with 100s of feral pigeons and doves on Maui feeding from spilt
grain in yards at a horse and cattle ranch. However, during highway driving
there always seemed to be a myna in view.

With no native birds to compete with, mynas take over - at least here they
do face a bit of competition - why can't we train cats to focus all their
attention on mynas, and breed up a race of super Peregrines to take care of
the pigeons?
Penny Drake-Brockman
Sydney Conservatorium of Music
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