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Greater Hill Mynah

 (other names: Hill Myna, Hill Mynah or Mynah)

Greater Hill Mynah
life expectancy:10 years
scientific name:Gracula religiosa
distribution:Southern Asia
family:Sturnidae
dimensions:0 to 30 cm
compatibility: agressivesinging ability: not very melodiousloudiness: loud
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History [ edit ]

Greater Hill Mynah (Gracula religiosa) belongs to the Sturnidae family, also called Starling because of the iridescence plumage that most of the birds have. They are gregarious birds, that gather in flocks to roost at night.

They are very popular pets, especially in Asia, their native territory, because of their mimicry abilities.

This specie has been heavily trapped and traded, but is still considered common in the wild. However, the future doesn´t seem to be alt that bright for this specie since their natural habitat is being destroyed. In fact, dense forests with heavy rainfall are increasingly smaller. These two threats have caused some decline in the population. This as strongly encouraged breeders to try even harder to breed this specie. 
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Temperament [ edit ]

Greater Hill Mynahs love attention and like to perch on the human´s shoulders, but they are less keen of being petted than other medium species.

They are extremely active; Mynahs are among the fastest birds. However, they are known as well for napping during the day, besides sleeping the whole night through. When awake, they are messy and noisy.

Greater Hill Mynahs are considered by many the best mimic of human speech. Both male and female produce clear words and they aren´t has shy as their rival in speech, the Grey Parrot. When housed in aviaries they will mimic the sounds that surround them. Indoors, they can even pick up the sound of the telephone.

They have a very characteristic way of moving: they hop rather than walk, and you should expect to see them doing it on the floor or in branches. 
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General Appearance [ edit ]

Resembling a crow, the Greater Hill Mynah shows a glossy black plumage and an orange to yellow bill. The iridescence feathers sometimes look more bluish or greener depending on the light. Mynahs have white patches on the wings, which are more perceptible in flight. The most curious feature in these birds is the yellow wattle, a bare skin area, which circles the head.

Hens and cocks are identical, which hasn’t facilitating breeding over the years. With the more recent techniques for sexing birds, breeders are know having success with this birds. Juveniles have duller plumage and lack wattles. 
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Housing [ edit ]

100 x 80 x 80 cm is enough room to house pet mynahs. However they need to be set free outside so that they can exercise themselves.
 
They are hardy birds, but they don´t tolerate foggy weather. They can take some time to acclimatize, a couple of years or so, so heating may be necessary in early severe winters.

These birds can´t be housed with smaller species since they may eat them. As medium-sized, you should place them with others of the same length.

The cage should have a couple of perches and a shelter for them to sleep in.

These birds love to bathe and they do it frequently, at least twice a day. You should have water recipients for them to use as bath tub.

They are quite messy, so place them in a space that you can easily clean. Mynahs can make great pets, but because of this trait and it´s high level of energy, they are usually housed in aviaries. 
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Diet [ edit ]

Fruits and insects are this bird’s favorites. Vegetables should always be available. You can add to its diet Mynah pellets and nectar. They are known for begging food. 
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Health [ edit ]

Mynah are prone to Hemochromatosis, an iron storage disease, and shouldn´t be given food rich in iron.
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Subspecies [ edit ]

There are about ten subspecies of the Gracula religiosa. Some of the best studied occur in Thailand:

  • Gracula religiosa religiosa – It can be found in Southern part of Thailand. This subspecies is larger, with longer bills, heads and body. They have tow disconnect wattles.

  • Gracula religiosa intermedia – Found in the Northern Thailand, it is smaller than its cousin, and the wattle is perfectly unified.
 
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