Hill mynah

Gracula religiosa

1024px Common Hill Myna Satchari NP Bangladesh 1
IUCN Conservation Status –
Least Concern
Extinct In The Wild
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Ramphastidae

Our pair of hill mynahs can be found in the Oriental Garden, next to our Asian short-clawed otter enclosure.

Hill mynahs come from South and South East Asia, including Myanmar, China, Malaysia and Indonesia, among others. They live in lowland forests, hills and mountains. They are omnivores and eat a diet of fruit, nectar, insects and lizards.

Hill mynahs have jet black feathers, which shimmer green and black in the light. They have bright yellow-orange patches of skin, along with fleshy wattles, on their head. They also have bright yellow beaks and legs.

Interesting facts!

  • Hill mynahs are renowned for their ability to imitate speech, which makes them popular pets, especially in Asia.
  • These birds are monogamous, and build nests in holes in trees, which are lined with twigs, leaves and feathers.
  • The word ‘mynah’ (or ‘myna’ as it is sometimes spelt) comes from the Sanskrit word ‘madana’, which means joy and delight.

Conservation

While hill mynahs are classified as Least Concern, they are one of the most popular avian species in the Asian pet trade. This, along with habitat destruction throughout its range, has had a large impact on hill mynah populations. In Bangladesh, for example, the species is almost virtually extinct.