Greater Indian Hill Mynahs

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Photo Wanted The Greater Indian Hill Mynah (Gracula religiosa intermedia) belongs to the family of Starlings. They inhabit the hilly areas of South Asia. In Malaysia, they are known as Tiong Mas Malaysia or Malaysian Hill Mynah.


Description

They average length 10 to 11 1/2 inches in length (including the tail).

They have a glossy black plumage with an iridescent purple, turquoise and green. They have bright yellow wattles (loose folds of skin) under their eyes. The eye and nape patches are joined. Their bright orange beak fades to yellow at the tip. There's a band of white across each wing.  The legs and feet are yellow. 

Males and females look alike.

Immature Hill mynahs look like the adults but the plumage is duller until they have gone through the first molt. Their beak is duller as well.


Calls / Vocalizations

These noisy birds seem omnipresent in our forests with a variety of loud shrieks and calls. Pet mynas are excellent mimics of various sounds, including human speech and have been prized for their vocal skills for hundreds of years.

Hill Mynas are prized for their vocal skills for hundreds of years. Even though all Hill Mynas are capable of human speech, some are better than others. Some are able to talk with the same tones and clarity of speech as the human voice they mimic. The Hill Mynah has been described as the best talking bird in the world, indeed the champion of mimics!

Two species - the Greater Indian Hill (Gracula religiosa intermedia) and the Common Hill Myna (Gracula religiosa religiosa) - are recognized as the most proficient talkers of the Hill Mynas and indeed of all talking birds, and these two species were the most widely imported for the pet trade than any other myna. The Common Hill Myna is the larger of the two and has a louder voice.

Lesser Hill Mynas or Southern Hill Mynas (Gracula religiosa indica) are also capable of learning words and phrases, but their voice has a higher pitch and they don't have the tone ranges needed to imitate human voice as well as the Greater Indian Hill and Common Hill Mynas.


Diet / Feeding

Greater Indian Hill Mynas feed on ripened fruit, especially figs. They also eat berries and seeds from a wide variety of trees and shrubs, and nectar from several kinds of flowers. Occasionally they eat insects from the foliage of trees and termites. They may also eat a small lizard or other small mammal to feed to their babies during breeding season. Mynah breeders offer meal worms for this purpose.


Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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