Common Hill Myna


A bird famous for chatting by skillfully imitating people’s words, the common hill myna.
In the past, the common hill myna was a very common small bird that was bred in many households along with parakeets and java sparrow.
However, due to certain circumstances, capture was prohibited, and now it is almost impossible to see it.
Let’s take a peek at what kind of characteristics and history such a common hill myna has in this article!



~ Basic information. ~


Length:27~30cm weight:160~180g.

Common hill myna is a bird that is good at learning human words and sounds and talking. It inhabits China and Southeast Asia. The color of the common hill myna is black all over the body, with yellow wattles from under the eyes to the back of the head, and the color of the beak and legs is yellow to orange.


The common hill myna is a bird that is considered to communicate with its companions using various calls.If raised from a chick, the common hill myna is said to learn human words well, so it has been kept as a pet in various Asian countries since ancient times. It was brought to Japan during the Edo period and has been loved as a popular pet along with parrots and parakeets ever since.

Wild common hill mynas live in small flocks and live in forests. Although much is unknown about their breeding, it is known that they make nests in tree holes on large trees and lay 2-3 eggs at a time. However, much is still unknown about the ecology of wild common hill mynas, including their breeding.

The common hill myna is a small bird that can be kept as a pet.

The common hill myna is a small bird that can be kept as a pet, just like the budgerigar and the java sparrow.

The common hill myna was once a commonly kept pet bird. However, unlike other birds, the Common hill myna has a characteristic that makes it difficult to breed in captivity. Therefore, almost all of the individuals kept as pets were raised from chicks taken from the nests of wild common hill mynas.

Due to the fact that the chicks of the common hill myna bird were over-harvested for pets and their habitats were destroyed, their numbers have decreased significantly and there is concern that they will become extinct if this continues. Therefore, under the Washington Convention, a global agreement, they were classified as “Appendix II” as “species that are not necessarily at risk of extinction but may become so if trade is not regulated” and protected.

As a result, capturing wild common hill myna birds is prohibited and various documents are required to trade even those bred in captivity. As a result, the number of common hill myna birds in circulation has decreased significantly and prices have skyrocketed. When wild birds were the mainstream, they were sold for tens of thousands of yen per bird, but in recent years they have been sold for 200,000 to 300,000 yen per bird.


What should I feed them when I keep them at home?

For the staple food of the common hill myna, feed them food (pellets) that are sold for them.

It is said that it is better not to give food for other birds because they are prone to a disease called “hemochromatosis” in which iron is stored in their bodies. Domestic common hill myna food is also sold, but if you want to be particular about it, you should look for not only domestic but also overseas food.

In addition, many common hill myna foods are given by softening or dissolving them in water or lukewarm water, so please check how to give them properly before using. Also, food with water or lukewarm water is easy to hurt, so if you have leftover food (especially in summer), put it away immediately.

As a side food, it is good to give fruits (apples, tangerines, peaches, etc.) and steamed sweet potatoes with food, and occasionally insects (millworms and crickets).

About the breeding environment.

Common hill myna birds are basically kept alone in a cage or birdcage for small birds.

Common hill myna birds tend to gain weight slightly when kept in captivity, so it is best to choose a cage that is as large as possible so that they can move around as much as possible. Also, because their beaks are soft and they tend to accumulate iron in their bodies, it is recommended to choose a plastic or wooden cage rather than a metal one, as we talked about in “What should I feed them when I keep them at home?”

Place the cage in a location where direct sunlight does not shine but the sun can be felt, and where there is moderate ventilation and no noise or vibration. Then, to avoid giving unnecessary stress, once you have decided on a location to set up the cage, try not to move it as much as possible.

出典:万代(平群町椿井) – panoramio.jpg

Other points to note.

“The common hill myna is a small bird that can be kept as a pet”. As introduced in the section, the common hill myna used to be a common animal as a pet.

However, the pet boom of the common hill myna was before the spread of the Internet.Therefore, even if you search for information on breeding in common hill myna on the Internet, it seems difficult to find them. In addition, there are no breeders specializing in the common hill myna, and there are almost no specialized books.

As a result, it is good to remember that breeding is often fumbling, and if necessary, you may need to look for information such as overseas websites and books.

In addition, the common hill myna is a very talkative and often chirping bird. It’s cute to see them imitating people’s words and talking, but keep in mind that their voices are surprisingly loud.

Once you keep a common hill myna, you will live with its calls and chatter throughout their lives. We recommend that you think carefully about whether the voice of the common hill myna will disturb the neighbors and whether it will interfere with their lives before keeping them.




Common hill myna’s Q&A.

What is the origin of the name of the common hill myna?

In English, it is called “common hill myna”, but in Japanese it is named “kyukancho”. Why is it called kyukancho by its Japanese name this time? We will introduce its origin.

It is said that the name kyukanchou comes from the Chinese name who first brought this bird to the Japan.

A Chinese named “Kukan” brought this bird to Japan in the Edo period, and in order to make people understand that this bird speaks human language, he explained, “This bird speaks my name (that is, the nine officials).”

The Kukan was going to explain, “This bird speaks the owner’s name (Kukan).” However, “This bird speaks its own name” was mistakenly conveyed to Japan people, and this bird was subsequently named “kyukancho”. It is considered to be.


Why do the common hill myna live there?

Wild common hill myna live in China, Southeast Asia, India and other places.

Unfortunately, the detailed reasons why common hill myna live in these places are unknown. However, it is believed that there were probably enough things for Kyukanchou birds to eat and places to live in these regions, as well as places suitable for breeding.


What do wild common hill myna eat?

Wild common hill myna are omnivorous and eat fruits, insects, and flower nectar.

Common hill myna kept in zoos are also given fruits and insects in addition to common hill myna specific food, just like pets.

Why do common hill myna speak human language?

Actually, it is believed that common hill mynas speak human language because they think of their owners as their companions.Especially when raised alone from a young age without ever seeing another common hill myna, they grow up thinking of themselves as humans.

Therefore, by learning their owner’s words and repeating them in the same voice, they try to greet and communicate with their owner.If you want to raise a common hill myna that talks like this, it is said that it is ideal to raise it alone from a young age as much as possible.

Not only common hill mynas but also parrots and parakeets are known to mimic human speech. In fact, the reason why these birds can speak is the same as that of common hill mynas. These birds have a tongue and throat structure that is more similar to humans than other birds, which allows them to mimic human speech.


Is it true that it is difficult for common hill myna to distinguish between male and female?

It’s true.

In fact, there is little difference in appearance between male and female common hill mynas. Therefore, to determine their sex, DNA-based sex determination must be performed.

In recent years, the accuracy of sex determination by bird DNA has improved, making it possible to reliably pair them. Artificial breeding is being carried out overseas, and a small number of common hill mynas born there are also imported into Japan.


What is the lifespan of a Japanese common hill myna?

The lifespan of common hill mynas is said to be about 12-25 years both in the wild and in captivity. However, there is a significant difference in the description depending on the source, so it may be better to consider it as a rough guide.





NHK 読む子ども科学電話相談「インコはなぜ、人間の言葉をマネするの?」