Cute Birdorable Common Hill Myna

Today we introduce a new bird to the starling family of Birdorable, one of the world's myna species: the Common Hill Myna!

Common Hill Mynas are appropriately named, as they are found in hill habitat in their South and Southeast Asia range. They have a wide distribution and are relatively common in their range.

Common Hill Mynas are also sometimes called simply Hill Mynas, and the family name is sometimes spelled Mynah.

These birds are known for their amazing vocal abilities. They produce a wide variety of calls, songs, and other sounds in the wild. Because of their vocal prowess, they are popular in aviculture, where they are known for their amazing ability to mimic different sounds.

Tomorrow's new bird is the tallest flying bird found in South America. Do you know the species?

Cute Hill Myna Gifts

If you think our Birdorable birds are cute as adults, what about when they are babies? Below are some baby photos (shared via Flickr Creative Commons) of the European Starling.

Across North America, the European Starling is a huge "success" story. Today's population of over 200 million birds can all be traced back to the release of about 100 individuals in New York in the early 1890s. Unfortunately, they compete with native birds, especially those that use cavities for nesting.

In Europe, where they are native, the starling population has suffered declines since the 1980s due to loss of available food sources.

Whether you see these birds as pests or beloved natives, it's hard to deny that they have pretty adult plumage and that they are even cuter when they are chicks.

Baby Starling
Baby Starling by Audrey (CC BY 2.0)
Baby Starlings in Nest
Baby Starlings in Nest by hedera.baltica (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Baby Starling
Baby Starling by Airwolfhound (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Baby European Starling
Baby European Starling by Keith Laverack (CC BY-ND 2.0)
Adult and Baby Starlings
Adult and Baby European Starling by Chris Isherwood (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Mother and Baby Starlings
Mother and Baby Starlings by Airwolfhound (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Adult with Baby Starling
Adult with Baby Starling by marneejill (CC BY-SA 2.0)
Young Starling
Young Starling by Jo Garbutt (CC BY 2.0)

Cute European Starling Gifts

Birdorable Common Myna

Today's new bird is the Common Myna!

The Common Myna is a medium-sized songbird native to parts of Asia. Today the species is known in more parts of the world as a pest. Intentionally introduced (Australia) or accidental escapee (South Africa) birds have established outside of their native range where they compete with native birds and damage agricultural crops.

Common Mynas are omnivores and well-equipped to adapt to living around human habitation.

Like other birds in the starling family, the Common Myna is skilled at mimicking sounds and voices. Their ability to sing and mimic makes them popular in the pet bird trade in some parts of the world.

Tomorrow we'll add an Old World duck that both dives and dabbles when it feeds.

Cute Common Myna Gifts

We're adding new birds each day until we reach our 500th Birdorable species! Today's Bonanza bird is the Superb Starling.

Birdorable Superb Starling

Superb Starlings have striking plumage. You might even call the combination of metallic blue and green with contrasting burnt orange superb!

Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus)
Superb Starling (Lamprotornis superbus) by Lip Kee (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Superb Starlings live in open or wooded habitats across parts of eastern Africa. They are ominvorous, eating a diet of insects, fruits, and berries. They often forage for food on the ground. These beautiful birds are cooperative breeders. Family groups band together to raise young. Some family groups may have multiple generations and several cousins, aunts, uncles, siblings, and others joining in to help raise young. The family life of the Superb Starling (and some other eastern African species) is remarkable; read more about them in this article from Cornell: The Uncommon Lifestyle of the Superb Starling.

Superb Starling

Tomorrow we'll add a tiny species to Birdorable. This little gem is a regular breeder in the United States, but not very well-studied.

Birdorable Bali Mynah

For 18 days we're adding a new Birdorable bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza 2010. Today's bird is the beautiful Bali Mynah! The Bali Mynah is a stocky perching bird related to starlings. In fact, the species is also known as the Bali Starling. Bali Mynahs are almost completely white, with black at the tip of the tail and wings. They also have a long drooping crest and a bright blue patch of skin around the eye.

Bali Mynah
Bali Mynah by Mark McLaughlin
Birdorable Bali Mynah Kids Sweatshirt Birdorable Bali Mynah Basic Long Sleeve Raglan
Birdorable Bali Mynah
Kids Sweatshirt
Birdorable Bali Mynah
Basic Long Sleeve Raglan

Tomorrow's bird is a small North American bird with a red crown. Can you guess what it will be?

Birdorable 195: Golden-breasted Starling

Cute Birdorable Golden-breasted Starlings

Our 195th cute Birdorable is this Golden-breasted Starling, often called the "most beautiful of the African starlings" for its gorgeous plumage and golden breast for it is named. Golden-breasted Starlings, also called Royal Starlings, live in Eastern Africa, from Somalia to northern Tanzania. Due to its striking appearance you'll also find this bird at many zoos across the United States.

Golden-breasted starling
Photo by kz hata (source: Flickr)
(Not Quite) Abbey Road
Photo by FeebleOldMan (source: Flickr)

Until the 31st of July we'll be adding a new bird every day as part of our Birdorable Bonanza until we reach the 200th at the end of this month. Here's a preview of tomorrow's bird:

Preview of Birdorable 196

Understanding Starlings: Intelligence, Mimicry and Ecological Impact

Tree full of Birdorable European Starlings

The European Starling, is a marvel of adaptation and survival. These birds are not just survivors; they are conquerors, thriving in a variety of habitats and often outcompeting native species for resources. Their introduction to new environments, while controversial, highlights their resilience and versatility. This adaptability, however, comes with its challenges, particularly in regions where their presence has upset the ecological balance.

One of the most mesmerizing phenomena associated with starlings is their flocking behavior, known as murmurations. These breathtaking aerial displays occur when hundreds, sometimes thousands, of starlings fly in swooping, intricately coordinated patterns in the sky. The reason behind these formations is multifaceted, involving defense against predators, warmth during cold evenings, and social gatherings. Watching a murmuration is an unforgettable experience, offering a glimpse into the complexity of avian social structures and the beauty of collective movement.

Beyond their impressive flocking behavior, starlings have a notable impact on agriculture and urban areas. While they can be beneficial by controlling insect populations, their large numbers also lead to significant crop damage and noise in populated areas. Their role in ecosystems is thus dual-faced, balancing between being helpful and problematic, a testament to their complex relationship with their surroundings.

Starlings' mimicry skills are another fascinating aspect of their behavior. These birds can imitate a variety of sounds, from the songs of other bird species to human-made noises, such as car alarms and cellphone ringtones. This ability is not just for show; it plays a crucial role in their social interactions and mating rituals. Males with a broader repertoire of sounds are often more successful in attracting mates, indicating that mimicry is an essential part of their survival strategy.

Despite their widespread presence and sometimes controversial impact on native wildlife and human activities, starlings remain a symbol of adaptability and intelligence in the avian world. 

Photo of European Starling

European Starling by Shawn Taylor (CC BY 2.0 DEED)

Cute European Starling Gifts