Your Christmas Shopping for a Song

Date posted: 04-Dec-2017

Aka - The Grand Christmas Shopping Expedition to Tiritiri Matangi Island Shop Dreading..

2018 Photo Comp opens for entries

Date posted: 27-Nov-2017

The 2018 Photo Competition is now open for entries. Click here (/2018-photo-competition-tiritiri-mat..

New reports on ruru nesting and Island conservation

Date posted: 02-Oct-2017

Two new reports have been added to the website. The first gives details of a summer students..

2018 calendars now available

Date posted: 27-Sep-2017

Our latest calendar, beautifully illustrated with images taken on the Island, is now available fo..

Guided walks for photographers

Date posted: 21-Jun-2017

For a wonderful day of wildlife photography please join us on Tiritiri Matangi Island for a Ph..

Ferry discounts for Supporters

Date posted: 18-May-2017

Tiritiri Matangi Island, the perfect winter's day trip. The birds are at their best, warm up w..

More kiwi for the Island

Date posted: 04-Apr-2017

In 1993 and 1995, sixteen little spotted kiwi were released on Tiritiri Matangi Island. The ma..

2017 Photo Competition

Date posted: 22-Mar-2017

It is that time of year again when we are looking for entries for our photo competition (and phot..

The 2017 concert

Date posted: 05-Feb-2017

This year's concert promises to be another wonderful and unique experience. Click here (/concert-..

Shorebird Film Festival at Devonport

Date posted: 26-Oct-2016

Click here (/miscellaneous documents/DevWaderFilms.jpg) for details of a forthcoming film festival c..

Common myna

Scientific name:

 Acridotheres tristis



Conservation status:

 Introduced and naturalised

Mainland status:

 Locally abundant in northern NZ

Size:  24cm, 125g


 12+ years


 October – March


 Mix of invertebrates & fruit, eggs, chicks and lizards

A native of South Asia, the common myna was introduced in the 1870s and is now very widespread in the upper North Island, including off shore islands, inhabiting open country, orchards, suburban gardens, parks, rubbish tips and forest edges. They roost communally, in some cases over 1000 birds.

The common myna is cinnamon brown with a glossy black head and neck, white patches on the wings and undertail, and white tail tips. The legs and bill are yellow, as is the bare patch of skin near the eye. The call is jangling with a rapid medley of raucous gurgling chattering and bell-like notes.

Breeding takes place between October and March and usually two broods a year are raised. The bulky nest is usually built in the hole of a tree, cliff or building, and often includes material such as paper and plastic as well as twigs, grass and leave. The clutch of 3–4 greenish-blue eggs is incubated mainly by the female for 14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents for 20–32 days and for about three weeks after fledging.

Their diet is very varied, and includes invertebrates and fruit, eggs, chicks and lizards, grain and food scraps from rubbish tips. They are often seen along roads, where they forage on road-kill invertebrates. Occasionally they inflict damage to grape and orchard fruit crops.

They are widely regarded as unwelcome pests for environmental as well as economic reasons, not only because they prey on eggs, chicks and lizards, but because they are aggressive towards other species nesting in their territories.

On Tiritiri Matangi, mynas are unwelcome but well-established. They often nest in saddleback nestboxes and have been known to evict the resident saddlebacks. 

Learn more about the common myna at New Zealand Birds Online.

Photography by: Max McRae ©

References: Heather, B.D.; Robertson, H.A. 2000 The Field Guide to the Birds of New Zealand. Auckland, Viking.  Moon, G The Reed Field Guide to New Zealand Birds.