Laurence and Leanne Knight wrote:
> I went for a bit of a poke around the Sherwood Arboretum [on the banks
> of the Brisbane River] to check out its birding potential - 35+
> in a couple of hours, including a buff banded rail - not bad for a
> suburban picnic ground.
> It took me a while to turn up the mongrel mynas, but I did get to see
> interesting territorial scrap between 2 pairs of mynas. As with the E
> coots, leg grappling is the main form of attack. Basically the four
> combatants slugged it out in a 0.5 sq metre "ring" and fought quite
> fiercely for about 5 minutes before one pair ran out of puff and were
> vanquished from the park. The amount of leaping into the air while
> scrap was at its peak reminded me of news footage of cockfights.
> Regards, Laurie.
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Indian Mynah fights can be quite grim affairs. If neither party will
give up, the 'cockfighting' stage can lead to one bird being knocked
down and lying on its side while the other stands on it, pecking -
really hammering away- savagely at head and eyes, and the 'victor's'
mate also pecking at the one that's down, despite attack by the downed
bird's mate. The last time I saw this I was astonished to see the
'loser' struggle free and make its escape apparently quite unharmed.
Five minutes later they were at it again! Couldn't tell which one won.
Incidentally my mother feeds her backyard birds (blackbirds, Spotted
Doves and mynahs) on bread and apple every day, with a few chopbones for
Magpie and Butcherbird. The mynahs nest in the garage roof, and every
day for a month the mynahs have swooped and sworn fiercely at Mum, even
when she's putting out food for them.
(All right, one shouldn't feed birds, particularly not 'rubbish
birds', but what else is an elderly nature-loving person to do when
leading a very home-bound existence in a very non-bush suburb?)
Anthea Fleming in Melbourne
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