Pacific Biosciences Research Center


University of Hawaii at Manoa


About Mynahs

The mynah birds found in Hawaii are Common Mynahs (Acridotheres tristis tristis). These natives of South Asia were introduced to Hawai`i in 1865 to control an infestation of army worms. There are more than a dozen mynah species, including the Hill Mynah (Gracula religiosa), a prized exotic bird known for its ability to imitate human speech. The Common Mynah is ubiquitous in Honolulu although relatively unappreciated by local residents as evidenced by its Hawaiian names: piha `ekelo (full of voice) and manu`aipilau (trash-eating bird).

Those whose lives have been touched by mynahs would surely agree with the comments of the ornithologist, E. L. Caum:

"The mynah is a perky, self-confident, pugnacious, and noisy bird, in many of its actions and antics disconcertingly human. It is gregarious, and the large flocks that gather at roosting time are most noisy and quarrelsome. It is omnivorous in its tastes, eating house scraps, fruit, grain, insects, and grubs of all kinds.... Everything considered, although it must be admitted that the mynah can be and frequently is a nuisance, an impartial observer would be forced to the conclusion that the bird's advantages to the islands are popularly decidedly underrated, while its disadvantages are overemphasized."

Excerpted from: The exotic birds of Hawaii. Occ. Pap. Bernice P. Bishop Museum 10:1-55, 1933.

For more information on Common Mynahs, visit The Myna Home Page. For more information on all types of Mynahs, visit The Mynah Bird Home Page.