St. Helena's Common Mynas

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Subject: St. Helena's Common Mynas
From: "Martin Wigginton" <>
Date: Wed, 14 Feb 2007 10:25:48 -0000
St Helena is decidedly not a birdy place - the publicity people have
illustrated just about the most prominent bird on the island.
All but one of the 11 species of land bird are introduced, and in the
lowland areas you mostly see only Indian Myna, Feral Pigeon, African Yellow
Canary and Common Waxbill, and locally Peaceful Dove and Java Sparrow. On
higher land, Madagascar Fody becomes quite common. Like most birders, I have
always regarded the Indian Myna as an unwelcome pest where it is introduced.
And indeed it is a considerable pest of fruit growers on St. Helena, and
takes the eggs and young of other birds, probably including the endemic and
threatened wirebird.
However, during a month-long stay on the island in 2005, I have to admit my
prejudice against them was somewhat tempered by the fact that they were
quite good and varied singers, and they alone provided the 'dawn chorus'
around the cottage!

Martin Wigginton

36, Big Green, Warmington, Peterborough, PE8 6TU, U. K.

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