Common Indian mynas were first brought to Melbourne in 1862 to control pests in market gardens. Even though they weren't successful at this, they spread quickly. Today there are feral colonies all around Australia and while control programs exist, there are steps you can take to keep myna birds away.
The Common Indian Myna
The myna is among the world’s top 100 most invasive pest species, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. They are responsible for the extinction of local bird species, health problems and property damage.
Why Are Common Indian Mynas a Problem?
Mynas are a problem because they compete aggressively with native wildlife for nesting hollows, evicting and killing young kookaburras, rosellas and dollar birds as well as small mammals like sugar gliders and ringtail possums.
Mynas invade habitats and increase the risk of extinction of some already endangered native species.
Why Are Common Indian Mynas a Pest
Mynas are an economic problem because they damage grain and fruit crops. Mynas can also spread mites and they can spread disease to people and domestic animals. Mynas have proved to be a problem in outdoor eating areas, stealing food from people's plates.
Common Indian Myna v Native Noisy Myna
The common myna is chocolate-brown in colour and has a black head and neck and should not be confused with Australia’s native, the noisy myna which is grey in colour. Like all native animals, the noisy myna is protected under the National Parks and Wildlife Act 1974.
What Can You Do?
You can reduce the impact of mynas by clearing away food scraps after eating outdoors. Feed pets indoors or clear away their food when finished. Removing bird feeders from your garden.
What Can You Do in the Garden?
To reduce mynas in your garden, remove weeds, especially berry producing weeds such as privet, asparagus fern, ochna, African olive and camphor laurel. Create a native garden using a good mix of local native species to keep mynas at bay.
What Can You do Around the House?
You can block holes in your roof or eaves to stop mynas nesting. Before you do so, make sure there aren’t any other animals such as possums or bats using the area, otherwise they’ll be trapped inside your roof.
Keeping Myna Birds off Your Property
If you wish to control myna birds on your property, the best thing to do is to contact a local pest control company or the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group.
Mynas and the Law
In 2000 common Indian mynas were listed by the World Conservation Union (IUCN) as one of the World's 100 Worst Invasive Species.