The mynah bird is such a popular pet that it can be hard to find in your average pet store. These birds are talkative, intelligent, and lovable companions for the right owner.
As adults, the mynah bird pet can grow to be from 12 to 18 inches long. They can live up to 25 years of age.
The most common varieties of this bird kept as pets are the hill mynah and the common mynah.
Keep reading to find out if this is the right new pet for you.
Mynah Bird FAQs
Take a look at our readers’ most popular and frequently asked questions about the mynah bird pet.
You can click the questions above to jump straight to the answers. Or, keep reading to find out everything you need to know about this bird species.
What’s in This Guide to the Mynah Bird?
- Where does the mynah bird come from?
- Mynah bird appearance
- Mynah bird temperament
- Health and care
- Mynah bird life span
- Mynah bird care
- Similar breeds
- Is a mynah bird right for me?
Let’s start with a general look at this bird.
What is a Mynah Bird?
Mynah birds are popular pets that originally come from Africa, India, and Southeast Asia. Like starlings, they belong to the Sturnidae family of birds.
Hill mynahs are most often found in dense tree canopies. Whereas the common mynah is more often found in open grassland and areas occupied by humans.
Spelling of ‘mynah’ varies depending on where you look. Some places refer to the ‘myna bird’ instead, dropping the ‘h’.
The main reason for their popularity as pets is their ability to imitate human speech. However, some varieties of this bird are better at this than others.
There are a number of different types of mynah bird. This includes the Greater Indian Hill mynah, Lesser Indian Hill Mynah, Bali Mynah, Pagoda Mynah, and Java Hill Mynah.
The hill types are the most common versions found as pets.
Where Does the Mynah Bird Come From?
As we’ve already mentioned, this bird originally comes from India, Africa, and Southeast Asia.
Hill mynahs are the most popular variety to keep as pets nowadays. But, this popularity isn’t new! They’ve always been loved for their talkative natures.
Throughout history, and even now in some places, the common mynah has been seen as a friend to farmers. He eats insects that plague crops and help with seed dispersal.
Downsides to This
In 1862 the common variety was introduced to Melbourne, Australia, in the hopes of reducing insects and pests in crops.
It was successful at this in its country of origin, so seemed like a natural solution!
However, the bird started to become a nuisance. It was named Australia’s most significant pest in a 2004 survey.
Instead of just eliminating insects, bird pests like the mynah in Australia caused extensive damage to fruit, cereal, and oilseed grain crops.
Mynah Bird Appearance
The mynah bird is a popular pet thanks to its talking abilities. But what does it look like?
Seeing as the hill mynahs are the most common type of pet, we will focus on their appearance. But remember, appearance does vary depending on what type of mynah you get.
Adult mynah birds will most often weigh between 12 and 18 pounds.
They have glossy black feathers with a purple and green sheen. You will also see a white patch on their wings.
They have yellow wattles on either side of their heads, resembling headphones slung around the neck. The coloring on your myna will get brighter as he ages.
Another popular pet variety is the Bali mynah. This bird has white feathers all over, but blue coloring around its eyes, like the pictures at the top of this guide.
The tips of its wings are black, in contrast with its white body.
Other than its coloring, it closely resembles the hill mynahs in shape and size.
Mynah Bird Facts
These birds have been close to civilisation throughout history. So, it’s no surprise that they’re found in literature!
If you’re interested in poetry, read ‘The Indian Myna’, written by C. J. Dennis in 1935.
Mynah Bird Temperament
The mynah bird is an intelligent pet. This is partly why they are so quick to pick up and mimic human voices!
They are also active, social, and lively. So, they need plenty of space and lots of interaction from their owners.
They are a great choice for people who want a bird they can interact with. You’ll have lots of fun listening to it mimic your speech.
If you get your bird at a young age, it will be easy to tame it. This will allow you to hold your bird.
Mynah Bird Health
Like any pet, there are some health issues in the mynah bird that new owners need to be aware of.
When you first get your bird, take them to the vet, and make sure to attend regular check ups.
Here are some health problems that have been known to affect the mynah:
- Parasitic diseases such as Atoxoplasmosis
- Diabetes Mellitus
- Liver problems
- Iron storage disease
Mynah Bird Lifespan
This pet bird usually lives for somewhere between 12 and 25 years.
By taking your myna for regular vet check ups and giving them great general care, you will be able to extend this lifespan for as long as possible.
Do Mynah Birds Smell?
If not regularly cleaned out, this pet bird can become quite smelly.
They like to eat a lot of moist foods, and can be quite messy pets. Their droppings are often loose, frequent, and sometimes projectile!
This means they aren’t ideal pets for everyone. Owners must be happy to clean this up, otherwise bad smells can accumulate.
These pet birds are also known to love daily baths. But again, this can be quite a wet and messy process.
Mynah Bird Care
A mynah pet will need plenty of space if he is going to be kept in a cage. Stimulation in the form of perches and baths are a great addition.
It will need room to fly each day, too. So, either a very long cage, or the chance to spend time outside his cage every day.
Nesting boxes are usually preferred for these birds to sleep in.
They are omnivorous and eat a lot. So, make sure you’re offering them a wide variety of fruits and insects, as well as bird feed.
Bird feed pellets are designed to meet as many of the mynah’s nutritional needs as possible, but should not be the only thing you feed them.
Remove uneaten fresh food regularly to prevent mould from developing in your Mynah’s cage.
Caring for a Baby Mynah Bird
It’s uncommon to come across baby mynah chicks in pet stores. You will most likely have to go to a breeder.
This has its benefits, as you can choose a breeder who hand raises healthy birds. Babies who have been hand raised are more likely to be friendly, confident, and social.
They are also more likely to adapt easily to new environments.
You will need to socialize a baby mynah bird to lots of different stimuli in order to reduce fearfulness.
This includes car journeys, and as wide a variety of people as possible.
Rescuing a Mynah Bird
Mynahs are very popular pets. But, they aren’t suitable for everyone.
So, you might be able to find them in a rescue center.
Mynahs are sometimes relinquished to shelters because
- their owners were unprepared for the reality of looking after them,
- or their mess was incompatible with the arrival of a baby,
- or an older person was unprepared for how long they live, and has become too old to give them them the care they need.
Find Out Why
So rescuing a mynah bird is a great way to give them a second chance, but make sure to go armed with lots of questions.
It might be harder to introduce an adult mynah bird to your home than a baby.
If you like the mynah bird but aren’t sure it’s going to be right for your home, here are some other birds that you might want to consider.
Is a Mynah Bird Right for Me?
These birds are talkative, intelligent, and social. So, they need plenty of interaction and mental stimulation.
They have quite a lot of nutritional needs, but you will be able to share lots of new foods with them.
Mynahs can be quite messy birds. So, you’ll need to work hard to keep them clean and minimize any smells.
If you have a lot of time to dedicate to a bird, this could be a great option.
And you’ll be rewarded with a very interactive relationship, rather than one which only flows one way!
But, you might struggle to find one if there are no breeders around you.
Do You Have a Mynah Bird?
If you have a mynah bird at home, make sure to tell us about them in the comments! We would love to hear about your experiences.
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References And Resources
- Lovette, I. & Rubenstein, D. ‘A Comprehensive Molecular Phylogeny of the Starlings (Aves: Sturnidae) and Mockingbirds (Aves: Mimidae): Congruent MtDNA and Nuclear Trees for a Cosmopolitan Avian Radiation’, Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution (2007)
- Anderson, G. ‘Myna Birds’, Garrett Phelan (2009)
- ‘The Indian Mynah‘, Institute of Australian Culture
- Bomford, M. & Sinclair, R. ‘Australian Research on Bird Pests: Impact, Management, and Future Directions’, Emu (2002)
- Mimapan, S. (et al), ‘Atoxoplasma Infection in a Common Mynah (Acridotheres Tristis)’, Journal of Thailand Veterinary Medical Association (2006)
- Bartlett, S. (et al), ‘Diagnosis and Management of Diabetes Mellitus in a Bali Mynah (Leucopsar Rothschildi)’, Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery (2016)
- Sheppard, C. & Dierenfeld, E. ‘Iron Storage Disease in Birds: Speculation on Etiology and Implications for Captive Husbandry’, Journal of Avian Medicine and Surgery (2002)
- Weber, N. ‘Birds: Health, Diseases, and Prevention’, Caring for Family Pets (2011)
- Powers, L. ‘Veterinary Care of Passerines (Songbirds)’, Association of Avian Veterinarians (2011)
- Reavill, R. ‘Tumors of Pet Birds’, Veterinary Clinics Exotic Animal Practice (2004)