Any of several Asian songbird species of the starling family (Sturnidae). The hill mynah (Gracula religiosa) of southern Asia, called the grackle in India, is about 10 in. (25 cm) long and glossy black with white wing patches, yellow wattles, and orange bill and legs. In the wild, it chuckles and shrieks; caged, it learns to imitate human speech far better than its chief rival, the gray parrot. The common, or Indian, mynah (Acridotheres tristis) was introduced into Australia, New Zealand, and Hawaii. The crested mynah (A. cristatellus), native to China and Indonesia, was introduced into British Columbia, Canada, but has not spread.
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The mynas (also spelt mynahs) are birds of the starling family (Sturnidae). This is a group of passerine birds which occur naturally only in southern and eastern Asia. Several species have been introduced to areas like North America, Australia and New Zealand, especially the Common Myna which is often regarded as an invasive species.
Mynas are not a natural group (Zuccon et al. 2006); instead, they are a term used for any starling in India and surrounding areas, regardless of their relationships. This range was colonized twice during the evolution of starlings, first by rather ancestral starlings related to the Coleto and Aplonis lineages, and millions of years later by birds related to the Common Starling and Wattled Starling's ancestors. These two groups of mynas can be distinguished in the more terrestrial adaptions of the latter, which usually also have less glossy plumage except on the heads and longer tails. The Bali Myna which is nearly extinct in the wild is highly distinctive. This species has shown signs of making a startling comeback in population.
Plumage is typically dark, often brown, although some species have yellow head ornaments. Most species nest in holes.
Some species have become well-known for their imitative skills.
The following species are often included in the Acridotheres mynas: