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Food and feeding ecology of the common myna acridotheres tristis

Food and feeding ecology of the common myna acridotheres tristis

Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy Part B Biological Sciences 42(6): 338-345

Regular observations on the food habits of common myna (A. tristes) were made at different places of Gangetic plains of West Bengal [India]. Some observation was also made in Sydney, Australia in 1974. Adult and young birds (632) were captured in the field for stomach analysis. Rate of consumption of food was determined experimentally in captivity. The principal food of the bird was insects 81.4% by weight supplemented by the fruits and flower nectar at some seasons of the year. It consumed large amounts of injurious crop pests. The weight of insects consumed was high during the monsoon. This species was both an individual and gregarious feeder. There was seasonal variation in the feeding station and the nature of food taken by the Common Myna. Feeding hours averaged 10.20 and 9.50 h in summer and winter, respectively. Experiments showed that this species consumed about 30 g of insects/day. Inter- and intraspecific struggle for food was rare. The common myna was found to be a beneficial bird species with respect to agriculture and forestry in India.

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