AudioDateDownLeftRightUpCloseReportGallerySettingsGiftLanguageGridListMapMenuPhotoPlayPlusSearchStarUserIconVideo

Crested Myna

Acridotheres cristatellus

Order:
Passeriformes
Family:
Sturnidae
Sections
  • Authors: Johnson, Stephen R. and R. Wayne Campbell
  • Published: Jan 1, 1995

Free Introduction Article Access

The Introduction Article is just the first of 11 articles in each species account that provide life history information for the species. The remaining articles provide detailed information regarding distribution, migration, habitat, diet, sounds, behavior, breeding, current population status and conservation. Each species account also includes a multimedia section that displays the latest photos, audio selections and videos from Macaulay Library’s extensive galleries. Written and continually updated by acknowledged experts on each species, Birds of North America accounts include a comprehensive bibliography of published research on the species.

A subscription is needed to access the remaining account articles and multimedia content. Rates start at $5 USD for 30 days of complete access.

Subscribe Now

Already a subscriber? Sign In
Enlarge
Figure 1. Distribution of the Crested Myna in North America.

This species also breeds in Asia. See Distribution for details.

Enlarge
Crested Myna adult; Tsim Bei Tsui, Hong Kong.

Crested Myna adult; Tsim Bei Tsui, Hong Kong.; photographer Various

© Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Editor's Note: By Feb. 2003, populations of this introduced species were reported extirpated in North America. See the 46th supplement of the AOU Checklist of N. American birds for details.


The Crested Myna is an introduced songbird from southern China and northern Indochina that has successfully colonized urban and agricultural habitats in and around Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Apparently only one or two pairs from Hong Kong-Macao either escaped or were released prior to 1897 to found the entire Vancouver colony. This population increased markedly in southwestern mainland British Columbia between 1897 and 1927. During peak abundance in the 1920s and early 1930s, thousands of individuals inhabited Vancouver, and individuals were also reported from southern Vancouver Island; south as far as Blaine and Bellingham, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and near Seattle, Washington. A small breeding colony established at Nanaimo, on southeast Vancouver Island, in the 1950s persisted until the late 1960s.

By 1959 the North American population of Crested Mynas had declined to 2,000 to 3,000 birds, and their distribution on the British Columbia mainland contracted to include only the Greater Vancouver area. A 1980 census estimated 2,537 birds in the Greater Vancouver area. Systematic winter counts and sight records indicate that as of the mid-1990s there are probably less than 100 Crested Mynas scattered throughout the Greater Vancouver area. Reasons for this steady decline over the past several decades probably reflect maladaptation to the Vancouver climate in recent decades, increased competition with European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) which invaded British Columbia in the early 1950s, changes in building structures (fewer crevices and ledges), and loss of agricultural habitat to urban development. The Crested Myna is likely to be extirpated from North America within several decades.

Crested Mynas nest in cavities or crevices in buildings, poles, or trees, behind vines on buildings, or in nest boxes. Established pairs may use the same site for many years; one nest was reported to have been occupied by breeding mynas for more than 30 years. On average, an adult's diet is about 60 percent fruits and berries and 40 percent invertebrates. Nestlings consume slightly more invertebrates. Compared to its only close relative in North America, the European Starling, the Crested Myna has retained incubation behavioral traits more adapted to tropical than temperate climates. Consequently, incubation schedules and hatching and fledging successes for this species are lower than for European Starlings and lower than for Crested Myna eggs incubated and hatched by European Starlings.

Unless otherwise stated, the following information refers to Crested Mynas in the Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, area.

Recommended Citation

Johnson, Stephen R. and R. Wayne Campbell. (1995). Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus), The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America: https://birdsna.org/Species-Account/bna/species/cremyn

DOI: 10.2173/bna.157