Mynah Birds - General

By Rick Axelson, DVM

General Characteristicsmynah_birds-1

Mynah birds (Gracula sp. and Acridotheres tristis) originate from Africa, India and Southeast Asia and are best known for their ability to talk and to mimic any and all sounds. They are lively, social birds and have wonderfully outgoing personalities. As young birds, they are easily tamed. They require a large cage, as they are very active and enjoy hopping around. Mynahs eat a large volume of moist food and are rather messy birds. They have frequent, loose and often projectile droppings that may render them as less desirable pets. They often enjoy a paper bag or nest box to sleep in. Mynah birds love daily baths and their enthusiasm creates a huge wet mess.

"Mynah birds love daily baths and their enthusiasm creates a huge wet mess."

The most common pet Mynah birds are the Greater Indian Hill mynah, Lesser Indian Hill mynah and Java Hill mynah. Other related species are the Pagoda mynah, Starlings and Bali or Rothschild's grackle.

Purchasing a Mynah Bird

Mynah birds may be purchased from a pet store or a reputable breeder. When selecting a Mynah bird, try to choose a young bird as it may be easier to tame and train. Older, wild, colony or parent raised birds may prove difficult to tame. Hand raised babies often make better pets since they have been completely socialized with humans. Young birds are easier to tame, learn to talk better and adapt readily to new environments and situations. Your new bird should be exposed early to different events (young and old people, males and females, other pets, car trips, visits to the veterinarian, etc.) to help promote a calm, well adjusted pet. The lively, alert bird that is not easily frightened is more likely a healthy bird. After purchasing your new bird, have it examined by your veterinarian.

Veterinary Care

Mynah birds require regular, routine veterinary health check ups. Mynahs have a predisposition to develop certain liver problems. Your veterinarian can perform a physical examination, grooming (beak, nail or feather trim as necessary) and laboratory tests as needed. During these semi-annual check ups, health, nutritional and maintenance issues can be identified and addressed. Veterinary check ups help prevent disease and will aid in the maintenance of a long lasting, healthy relationship between you and your bird.



Mostly glossy black with yellow lappets or wattles (featherless skin areas on the back and sides of the head)

  • Yellow beak and feet
  • White patch on each wing


  • Plumage not as glossymynah_birds-2
  • Wattle smaller



  • Both sexes look alike
  • Males are slightly larger and have a bolder stance
  • Males have longer skin flaps on the neck


  • Both sexes look alike

Weight Average 170 - 260 grams (5.7 - 8.4 ounces)

Size Average 30 - 45 cm (12 - 18 inches) in length

Life span 12 - 25 years

Diet See Feeding Mynah Birds

Breeding Sexual maturity 2-3 years

They are challenging to successfully breed in captivity

Brood Size 2 - 5 eggs hatch in 14 - 15 days young leave the nest in 4 weeks

Cage Minimum 2.5 ft x 3 ft x 3 ft long (75cm x 90cm x 90cm)

See Housing Small Birds

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