Mynah Birds

Mynah birds have long been a popular bird. In ancient Greece, the mynah was kept among the aristocracy as a pet, and in India, the mynah has been considered sacred for more than 2,000 years. The mynah’s extraordinary talents as an imitator make him one of the most interesting of all cage birds, today.

They are often described as the best talking bird in the world.  They can mimic the human voice and are able to talk in the same tones and clarity of speech as the voice they are mimicking, even outdoing the African grey parrot.  They are lively, social birds and have wonderfully outgoing personalities.

They require a large cage, as they are very active and enjoy hopping around. Mynahs eat a large volume of moist food and are rather messy birds. They have frequent, loose and often projectile droppings.  In this regard, they are much like the nectar eating Lorikeet; but, loveable and deserving of a place in the human heart.

They often enjoy a paper bag or nest box to sleep in. Mynah birds love baths daily and their enthusiasm creates much splashing and playing.  The mynah is an Asian bird that bears a crow-like appearance. Mynahs are native to Ceylon, India, and parts of Africa but; live as far away as Indonesia. There are11 sub-species. Length is from 9 1/2 inches to 12 inches.   The most common bird in the US is the Hill Mynah, which has various subspecies, i.e. Indian Hill Mynah, Java Mynah, etc.

Their average life span is 12 to 25 years.  Young birds are easier to tame, learn to talk better and adapt readily to new environments and situations. Your new bird should be exposed early to different events (young and old people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help promote a calm, well adjusted pet. The lively, alert bird that is not easily frightened is more likely a healthy bird.

Mynah birds require regular, routine veterinary health check ups. Mynahs have a predisposition to develop certain liver problems. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (beak, nail or feather trim) and laboratory tests as needed. During these semi-annual check ups, health, nutritional and maintenance issues can be identified and addressed. Veterinary check ups help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.  Your bird should eat a diet of species specific food.

Many bird food supply companies make food for Mynah’s just as they breed specific foods for other species.  Consult with your vet for the food lowest in iron as Mynah’s are subject to Iron Retention Disease.  Because they need plenty of room to hop and flit about, their cage must be at least 3’x 3’ x 3’ with perches layered at different heights for their flitting enjoyment.  Kim and Korey can help you select the perfect cage for your new Mynah or help you with new housing for the one or more that share your home now.  (Jan Santor)