A Few of Hawaii’s Favorite Birds (26): Mimicking Maui’s Mynas

As an avid bird lover, I now notice fascinating new species of birds whenever I travel, and although I can’t really say that any of the unusual types I spotted in Hawaii are among my “favorite” birds, I thought it would be fun to share what I discovered with you. Alectoris Chukar Hawaii’s state bird is the Nehe Goose, and they are inveterate beggars. There are signs at Haleakala National Park asking people to refrain from giving in to their wiles, so I thought this must be a Nehe Goose at the summit. Wrong! It’s an Alectoris chukar! Hawaiian DoveMourning Doves are common throughout the world, and Hawaii is no exception, Zebra Dove          but even more common there are the colorful, smaller zebra doves.  Red Crested CardinalMainland Americans are used to ruby-red cardinals, but Hawaii hosts a very attractive cousin known as the Red-crested Cardinal. SandpiperI’m used to sandpipers dodging waves along ocean shorelines, but in Hawaii, they also mosey across the lawns at famous resorts! Ae'o BirdsAt the Kealia Pond National Wildlife Refuge we spotted a number of Ae’o birds. Ae'o birds at Kealia Pond Wildlife RefugeThese long-legged birds are  an endangered Hawaiian relative of the Black-necked Stilts seen on mudflats in the western U.S., so you might not see them unless you’re near a fresh water pond at the right moment. Feral RoosterI’ll bet even young kids will recognize this fat sassy: a feral rooster. Wild chickens roam everywhere in Hawaii. You may remember that when my son Michael lived in Hawaii, he and his kids nicknamed one “Nuggets” and prepared him for Sunday dinner one day. (Grace had nothing to do with this, I assure you.) Chicken crossing roadBTW, have you ever figured out why the chicken crossed the road? To lay it on the line? To be poultry in motion?… Got any better ideas? Chicken crossing the roadI’ve heard that chickens in Hawaii dream of a better day when people will  stop questioning their motives and just hang loose!   🙂Myna Birds in Tree       Of all the birds we saw in Hawaii, the most common were the myna birds. Breakfast on our Balcony    They sang in the trees while we ate breakfast on our balcony each morning. Myna Bird on lawn   They look a lot like robins from the back…about the same size and coloring, Myna Bird Pair      but when you see a good closeup, it’s obvious they’re distinctly different. Myna Bird in grassMyna birds are members of the starling family and transplants from Southeast Asia and India. The name “myna” is from Sanskrit, madanā, which means “an intoxicating drink.” I’ve not read the reasoning behind their name, but my guess is it has something to do with their garbled speech. They make an amazing number of vocalizations…everything from whistles and shrieks to very melodious bird songs that can change in an instant into sounding just like a human having a very solemn conversation. In captivity they learn to mimic people, and in Hawaii I noticed that they liked doing exactly what everybody else was doing:

Mynas relaxing at the Sheridan They frequent the most fashionable resorts Mynas waiting for dinner at Mama's Fish Houseand like to eat out at the best restaurants. (Here they are, waiting with us for seats at Mama’s Fish House.) Myna strolling beachThey like to stroll the beaches with us Big Beachand beachcombing is one of their favorite pastimes. Myna Birds on Gold CourseThey spend a lot of time on the golf courses, Myna+ SUP 1.29.15but they’re definitely into water sports too. Mynas checking out the parking spotsLike all of us, they check out the best parking spots, Mynas on the grassand they just love getting together with their friends. Myna bird parenting youngI’ve read that myna birds are attentive parents. Mynas looking for a parking spotThey were virtually always traveling in pairs when we saw them, Myna Birdsand they generally mate for life. (Even if they do seem a little grumpy at times.) Myna teaching chickMaybe instead of just myna birds mimicking people, Pair of myna birds in treewe’d also be wise to mimic myna birds!

“Know therefore that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations” (Deuteronomy 7:9).

5 responses to “A Few of Hawaii’s Favorite Birds (26): Mimicking Maui’s Mynas

  1. Beautiful photos. I will remember to look for them when I make it there someday 🙂

  2. Am I allowed to use your Wild Chicken picture on a Tee Shirt I am designing ??

    • Are you selling them? If so, I might need a free one. 😌

      • Also, you may use my photo, because I believe the Lord has given me so much, and he taught us, “Freely you have received, freely give.” Blessings!

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