As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Tuesday 27 January 2015

Indian myna birds could be getting more intelligent, Canberra bird action group says

666 ABC Canberra By Hannah Walmsley with Genevieve Jacobs

Posted about 10 hours agoTue 27 Jan 2015, 4:48am

A resurgence of the Indian myna bird population in Canberra could result from the birds outsmarting the community trapping program.

Canberra's Indian Myna Action Group president Bill Handke said that while the population of Indian mynas had been successfully controlled, the group had been forced to explore new trapping methods.

"We hear more stories now of mynas not going near traps and even, disturbingly, teaching their young not to go near traps," Mr Handke told 666 ABC Canberra.

"I suspect Indian myna birds have worked out traps are bad news."

The Indian myna bird is considered a pest, competing with native wildlife for food and habitat.

"The problems with Indian mynas is that [they] take over the hollows of nesting birds like the rosella and kookaburra and cockatoo," Mr Handke said.

"[They also] drive birds out of gardens and prey on small birds, their chicks, and eggs."

Indian myna numbers spiked in the mid 1990s with the species becoming the third-most common in Canberra.

A backyard trapping program formed in 2006 by the Canberra Myna Bird Action Group drastically reduced the number of the pest species.

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