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?
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.
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.
We're adding new birds each day until we reach our 500th Birdorable species! Today's Bonanza bird is the 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) 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.
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.
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 by Mark McLaughlin
Birdorable Bali Mynah
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?
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.