Thursday, February 28, 2008
Common Myna (Acridotheres tristis), is a myna, a member of the starling family. This bird is native in southern Asia from Iran and Kazakhstan to Malaysia and China, and in Egypt. It is also known as the Indian Myna and as the Talking Myna for its ability to mimic human speech. In India, it is called Lali or Lalee. In urban settings, it thrives on household trash and restaurant waste.
It has been introduced widely elsewhere, including adjacent areas in Southeast Asia, the Middle East, South Africa, Israel, North America, Australia, New Zealand and various oceanic islands, including a very prominent population in Hawaii.
This abundant passerine is typically found in open woodland, cultivation and around habitation. The Common Myna builds a nest in hole in a tree or wall. The normal clutch is 4–6 eggs.
Although this is an adaptable species, its population has been decreasing significantly in Singapore and Malaysia due to competition with its cousin, the introduced
This 25-cm-long bird has dark brown body and wing plumage, with large white wing patches obvious in flight. The head and throat are dark grey. The bill, bare skin around the eyes and strong legs are bright yellow. The sexes are similar. Mynas mate for life.
Like most starlings, the Common Myna is omnivorous. It feeds on insects and fruits and discarded waste from human habitation. It forages on the ground among grass for insects, and especially for grasshoppers, from which it gets the generic name Acridotheres, "grasshopper hunter". It walks on the ground with occasional hops.
The song includes croaks, squawks, chirps, clicks and whistles, and the bird often fluffs its feathers and bobs its head in singing. The Common Myna screeches warnings to its mate or other birds in cases of predators in proximity. Common Mynas are popular as cage birds for their singing and "speaking" abilities.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Bar-headed Goose (Anser indicus) is a goose which breeds in Central Asia in colonies of thousands near mountain lakes. It lays 3-8 eggs in a ground nest.
The summer habitat is high altitude lakes where the bird grazes on short grass. It suffers predation from crows, foxes, ravens, sea eagles and others. The total population may, however, be increasing.
The Bar-headed Goose migrates over the Himalayas to spend the winter in India, Assam, Northern Burma and the wetlands of Pakistan. It migrates up to Magadi wetlands of Gadag district of Karnataka in the southern part of India. The winter habitat of the Bar-headed Goose is on cultivation where it feeds on barley, rice and wheat, and may damage crops.
The Bar-headed Goose is believed to be the highest flying bird having been seen at up to 10175 m (33,382 feet). It has a slightly larger wing area for its weight than other geese and it is believed this helps the goose to fly so high.
The bird is pale grey and is easily distinguished from any of the other grey geese of the genus Anser by the black bars on its head. It is also much paler than the other geese in this genus. In flight, its call is a typical goose honking.
It has sometimes been separated from Anser, which has no other member indigenous to the Indian region, nor any at all to the Ethiopian, Australian, or Neotropical regions, and placed in the monotypic genus Eulabeia.
The Bar-headed Goose is often kept in captivity as it is considered beautiful and breeds readily. Records in Britain are frequent, and almost certainly relate to escapes - however, the species has bred on several occasions in recent years and around five pairs were recorded in 2002 (the most recent available report of the Rare Birds Breeding Panel). It is possible the species is becoming gradually more established in the UK. The bird is sociable and causes no problems for other birds. The wild population is believed to be declining due to over-hunting.