birding-aus Common Mynahs vs Metallic Starlings

Subject: birding-aus Common Mynahs vs Metallic Starlings
From: Jan England <>
Date: Mon, 08 Feb 1999 20:22:32 +1000

On my arrival in Cairns in January last year, I was horrified to see so
many Common Mynahs around my home - playing on the road, chattering on the
roof and in the gutters in the early hours of the morning.  They also
roosted at night in a large fig tree which overhung the clothes line -
hence no washing could be put out overnight.

In February sometime, they were suddenly displaced by young metallic
starlings which flocked to the fig trees each night.  Hardly a mynah was to
be seen for approx. the next 8-10 days.  Then just as suddenly as they
arrived, the starlings were gone and within a few days the mynahs returned
to their roosting site and recommenced their frolicking on the roof and
calling from the power lines in the early morn.

The same phenomenem has occured this year with the young starlings arriving
approx. Thursday 28th January and leaving again last Friday 5th February.
There were at least 1000 young birds, which gradually moved into the
surrounding small trees and then into the fig each evening and left in the
same way each morning.  I assume they were flocking together before taking
off for the north.  

It seems a couple of weeks earlier this year but as I did not keep a record
of the dates last year, I can't be sure.

I would be interested in hearing comments from anyone else who has noticed
this behaviour.

Jan England

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