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A photo of a Yellow-faced Myna (Mino dumontii)
Yellow-faced Myna

Yellow-faced Myna

Mino dumontii

The Yellow-faced Myna, Mino dumontii, stands out as one of the larger starlings, reaching a length of 23 to 26 cm. It boasts a dark plumage with a metallic sheen, complemented by striking orange facial features and a similarly colored beak. The bird's head is adorned with short black feathers, tinged with bluish-purple at the forehead and upper mandible base, while the majority of the head showcases bare yellowish-orange skin. This vibrant skin forms a broad patch around and behind the eye, extending to a bib on the chin and throat sides. The neck, central throat, and mantle display a black hue with a purple gloss, whereas the back, wings, breast, and belly are black with a green gloss. A white rump, golden-yellow lower belly, and white undertail-coverts add to the bird's distinctive appearance. The tail is short and black, and the iris is typically yellow, though it can be brown in certain New Guinea regions. The bill and legs are a bright yellow.

Identification Tips

When identifying the Yellow-faced Myna, look for its large size among starlings, the unique combination of dark plumage with a metallic sheen, and the prominent orange facial skin. The white rump and golden-yellow lower belly are also key distinguishing features. The bird's yellow iris, bill, and legs are additional identification markers.

Habitat

The Yellow-faced Myna is native to subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests of New Guinea and nearby smaller islands. It thrives in rainforests, forest fringes, partially cleared areas, secondary growth, gallery forests, and occasionally savannah regions.

Distribution

Endemic to New Guinea, the Yellow-faced Myna's range includes the mainland and many smaller offshore islands. It is commonly found at altitudes up to 800 meters, and in some parts of Papua New Guinea, even higher.

Behaviour

This species is often observed in pairs or small groups, though it can form larger flocks and communal roosts in tall trees with over two hundred individuals. The Yellow-faced Myna is known for its variety of vocalizations, which include nasal, growling, and croaking calls, some with a human-like conversational tone. It perches in elevated positions, calling loudly, and exhibits a quick wing-beat with direct flight. Pairs flying together suggest possible monogamous and lifelong pairing.

Song & Calls

The Yellow-faced Myna's vocal repertoire is diverse, emitting nasal, growling, and croaking sounds that can sometimes mimic human conversation.

Breeding

Breeding occurs in tree holes and crevices well above the ground. Nests are constructed from twigs, and the myna lays one or two pale blue eggs speckled with grey and rust. There is potential for cooperative breeding, as multiple birds have been seen carrying nesting materials to a single location.

Diet and Feeding

Primarily frugivorous, the Yellow-faced Myna forages high in the canopy for berries and fruit. It also consumes small invertebrates and has been observed catching insects mid-flight.

Conservation status

The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has classified the Yellow-faced Myna as "Least Concern," indicating a stable population across its wide range.

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Yellow-faced Mynas on Birda

Sightings
A map showing the sighting location
Profile picture for Owen Robertson
Owen Robertson
19 Nov 2019 - 12:00am
Papua New Guinea

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