There are many different species of birds found inside the village. So far, I have seen 55 different species. One of the species that has made its home in our village is the Crested Myna (Acridotheres cristatellus). It is known locally as martines. It is a large black bird, measuring about 10”. It has a yellowish bill and a white patch on each wing that is visible when it flies, and a small crest of feathers at the base of its bill. It is common throughout Luzon and Negros and was introduced into the Philippines in 1850.
The Crested Mynas in the village have been very active and visible in the past weeks. They can be seen walking on the sidewalks and even in the middle of the main roads such as Acacia Avenue and Country Club Drive. They use their keen eyesight to pick out small green caterpillars from the piles of dried leaves that accumulate at the edge of the sidewalk and the street.
Crested Mynas are good mimics and can copy the calls of other birds and other sounds. Unfortunately, because of this they are frequently captured from the wild and sold as pets. Many people do not realize that there is a law, Republic Act No. 9147 The Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act that prohibits the capture, buying or selling wildlife. Not only is it against the law to buy wildlife, it also harmful to the environment. Buying wildlife encourages hunters to capture even more birds and further decimates the country’s already dwindling and threatened wildlife population.
The more famous relative of the Crested Myna is the Hill Myna. The Philippine population of Hill Mynas is found only in Palawan. The Hill Myna has a yellow patch of skin below the eye and wattles on the nape. Sadly, they are so popular as pets that in some areas their entire population has been wiped out. Hunters look for the birds’ nests in the wild and extract the baby birds when they are old enough to be hand-reared.
Please visit my website tonjiandsylviasbirdlist.smugmug.com for more pictures of Philippine birds.
You can also see more pictures of Crested Mynas in the Crested Myna gallery on my website.