[Birding-Aus] Common Mynas

To: 'Martin Butterfield' <>
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Common Mynas
From: Geoffrey Dabb <>
Date: Fri, 20 Nov 2020 21:54:28 +0000

I was not going to say anything about this, but I do have something to report.  As Martin says, the Canberra anti-IM/CM group has had considerable success in reducing the species around Canberra.  Canberrans have moved on, and concurrently with this discussion have been talking about whether and how to reduce NOISY MINER numbers around Canberra.  That species has increased dramatically in the suburbs,  and the current spring has been particularly good for them.


What I have to report is the following. A few years ago Noisy Miners colonised a nearby suburban park.  About three years ago, a pair of IMs disappeared from the park, where they had used a particular hollow.  A case of being out-minered, I thought at the time.  Just this morning, on the early dog-walk, I came across one of those flurries of bird interaction.  A Noisy Miner was engaged in vigorous and sustained pursuit of an IM, one of two that had reappeared.  Other Noisy Miners appeared and chased the pair of IMs from the park.  If the latter do not reappear, I would take this as evidence that in some situations one species excludes the other. 


What usually happens now is that someone says ‘Oh no.  Here in Lower Birdwell both species live together quite happily.’


From: Birding-Aus <> On Behalf Of Martin Butterfield
Sent: Wednesday, 18 November 2020 11:43 AM
To: Tony Russell <>
Cc: Birding-Aus <>; Geoff Ryan <>
Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Common Mynas


Dear Ancient Twitcher


The Canberra Indian Miyna Action Group has done an excellent job of stopping the increase of the pests in Canberra .  However as another ancient twitcher said quite a few years ago "They'll never get rid of the Mynas until they get rid of the stables at Queanbeyan and Canberra race tracks."




On Wed, 18 Nov 2020 at 10:56, Tony Russell <> wrote:

All this debate about Mynas, common or Indian, is all very interesting but doesn't solve anything. They are HERE and there's no way to get rid of them. They are as common as sparrows and starlings, get used to them and live with it, just as we do with other introduced species. Sorry fellas, you are wasting your breath.


Ancient twitcher.


On Wed, 18 Nov 2020 at 08:27, <> wrote:

I could not agree more Geoff and, for the benefit of the birds, I am now embarking on a wide ranging policy of human genocide. Please join me.


While this policy may attract its critics, it is clearly the best approach to solving the current environmental problems, including those caused by introduced species.


Taking responsibility for human introduced species is, of course, silly. We should embrace their impact and pacify ourselves by staring guiltily at any available mirror.


Geoff, you have got me on a bad day. However what good is guilt and what solutions do you offer or are you seriously suggesting that we should just ignore introduced species?



Ken Cross


From: Birding-Aus <> On Behalf Of Geoff Ryan
Sent: Wednesday, 18 November 2020 6:11 AM
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Common Mynas


I am surprised that, on a birding site, some still use the misnomer of 'Indian Myna', for Acridotheres tristis. The accepted common name is 'Common Myna'. And the introduced bird is common up and down the east coast of Australia with varying densities. Populations also extend well inland in certain areas. No doubt it is aggressively successful and competes with native birds when it occurs in dense populations. However the Common Myna is not as widespread, or in such dense populations, as its close relative the Common Starling. Sturnus vulgaris which also competes with native wildlife.


In recent travels I have also noticed that populations of House Sparrows have spread into remote agricultural, pastoral and bush areas, well away from houses. All these introduced birds, including the Common Blackbird and the Spotted Dove, appear to be increasing their range and, presumably, their impact on native birds.


However, before we get sanctimonious and judgemental about these birds we should consider, carefully, what we could do about the one species that is far more destructive, widespread and invasive than all these and the major cause for the reduction of our native bird populations and species. It is the species we see when we look in the mirror. 


Perhaps we should accept the blame and not deflect our guilt onto introduced bird populations. 




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