Problems with Indian Myna birds

Indian Mynas (Acridotheres tristis) are a species originating from southern parts of Asia but were introduced into many other countries including South Africa, North America, the Middle East and New Zealand.

In Australia, Myna’s were introduced in the 1860’s as a method for controlling crop pests in market gardens and have since adapted to urban and rural landscape. Following their introduction Myna’s quickly became a nuisance to farmers in Australia as they were known for consuming fruit and picking off seeds in market gardens.

The Indian Myna is not a declared pest animal under the Catchment and Land Protection Act 1994, but it’s adaptation to suburban life has seen numbers increase substantially.

Being scavengers Mynas thrive where there is easy access to food. Their diet typically consists of fruits, seeds, insects, vegetables, scraps, and most recently pet food. Removing excess food sources will assist in discouraging these birds.

Due to their aggressive nature Mynas can be found almost anywhere, roosting in household roofs, walls, bridges and other man-made structures; they also compete with native bird species for tree hollows.

Mynas can be discouraged in a number of ways including:

  • feed pets indoors, or do not leave pet food outside as Indian Myna birds are one of the few birds that will feed on it;
  • check your roof and gutters for any holes and block them to prevent the entry of Indian Mynas;
  • cover compost heaps and rubbish bins so that food is not available;
  • reduce lawn areas and plant shrubs and ground cover plants to create a more dense garden as Indian Myna birds prefer foraging in areas with a clear understorey; and
  • plant local indigenous and native plants to encourage native bird species.

The Yarra Indian Myna Action Group (YIMAG) can provide further advice and support. They also provide traps to community members.

The YIMAG can be contacted via their website http://www.yimag.org.au/