Mynas and TV

To: "Mark Clayton" <>, <>
Subject: Mynas and TV
From: <>
Date: Mon, 16 Apr 2012 15:23:26 +1000
Mark et al,
The name issue was debated at length in 2006, when CIMAG was set up. At that time, I agreed with your approach that it would have been better to use the correct name. However, we were not doing a  “scientific job”; we were trying to interact with the ACT community, the vast majority of whom knew the targeted bird only as Indian Myna.  I think now we would only have added to public confusion with Noisy Miner if we had used  Common Myna.  As you noted, it also gave us the opportunity for a catchy acronym!
It is interesting that virtually all other similar groups in eastern Australia have taken the same approach. Sean Dooley made a joke about a possible xenophobic sentiment in his introduction to the 2011 “Wingspan” article that CIMAG (sorry, CCMAG!) made a major contribution to.
Sent: Monday, April 16, 2012 2:23 PM
Subject: [canberrabirds] Mynas and TV

G’day all,


One of the most useful purposes of a chat line such as that from COG is that we are able to educate people in many things, not least  the correct name of birds. One that keeps cropping up and that annoys me greatly, as it did the late great Steve Wilson, is the name Indian Myna. The bird’s CORRECT name is Common Myna, Acridotheres tristis (that’s the bird’s scientific name in italics for those who are not sure about what it means). The name is that used by the IOC, an international group that is one of several such organisations that keep updated lists of the world’s birds and the list that most people, including a lot of people in Birds Australia, or whatever they are calling themselves this week, are now using rather than the out of date Christidis and Boles that COG follows. The myna is found as a naturally occurring species in much of South-east Asia, not just India.


I know the name does not fit into CIMAG’s catchy name (CCMAG just doesn’t have that “ring” to it) but let’s get the name of the species correct. It is errors like this that keep confusing people, especially beginners.


I also recently saw a program on, I think, A Current Affair, that spoke of Canberra’s concerted effort to eradicate the myna. Part way through it flashed up a picture of a Noisy Miner, (Manorina melanocephala) with no explanation that it was a different, and native, species. Confusion between the two species is common and not helped by this sort of mix up.


If you want to learn bird names, please learn, and USE, the correct one.



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