Description: The beautiful Bali mynah is all white, except for the black tips on the tail and wing feathers and a patch of blue skin around the eyes. It has a small crest on its forehead and the tail is rounded. The male and female are quite similar but the head crest on the female is less prominent.
Size: The male Bali mynah is slightly larger than the female and stands approximately nine inches (22.9 cm) tall. Its weight ranges between 2.65-3.35 ounces (75-95 gr).
Behavior: Bali mynahs are very friendly and will flock in large groups of 30-60 birds when not breeding. The males are extremely aggressive when breeding and will lift their white crest and use head-bobbing to attract a mate. Bali mynahs are also known to allopreen (clean each other’s feathers).
Diet: They are omnivores, eating both insects and fruit, according to availability.
Senses: Smell may be used to select nest material, navigate and select food.
Communication: Mynahs are known to chatter in flight and are quite noisy, repeatedly squawking and whistling, while bobbing the head up and down. A raised crest may signify courtship or aggression. Because they can be taught to “talk”, mimicking human words and/or phrases, they are a favorite of many.
Reproduction: Breeding coincides with the rainy season (November-March) when both fruits and insects are plentiful. It is believed that two, and possibly three, clutches are laid during the breeding season. They nest in cavities, often sites that have been dug by barbets and woodpeckers. Nests are lined with leaves, plant stems and feathers. A clutch of two to four blue-green eggs is incubated by both parents for approximately 12-16 days. Hatchlings are altricial (featherless and the eyes are closed). Hatchlings start to fledge (begin learning to fly) after 15-26 days but are still fed by their parents for a few more weeks. After a few months, the juveniles grow their adult plumage.
Habitat/range: The Bali mynah is the only bird endemic to the Indonesian island of Bali. It is the national bird of Bali. They were originally found over one-third of the island but are now only found in the Bali Barat National Park. They inhabit open woodlands, scrub forest and grasslands. The area in which they live is very arid during the dry season (April-October), making fresh water quite scarce. Ripe fruits are eaten when water is unavailable.
Status: Poaching, habitat destruction and human encroachment of this species (whose population is so small and its range is so limited) are the biggest threats to the continued survival of the Bali mynah. They are classified as Critically Endangered (CR) on the IUCN Red List; listed on Appendix I of CITES; and are on the USFWS List of Endangered Species. The Bali mynah is also a SSP (Species Survival Plan) animal.