Myna-horse relationship

We are used to seeing mynas hovering around grasscutters or even garbage disposal people. But to see one around a horse? Or chasing the horse when it gallops around the course? Well, Leykun had such an experience, as seen in a letter written on 12th April 2006:

“I was at the Saddle Club recently to practise photography.

“The Common Myna ( Acridotheres tristis) was seen hopping, chasing and even flying after the horse (picture above). I think it was the horse’s butt or smell that attracted the bird. It was very purposeful in its actions as it practically chased the horse for several hundred metres until the horse turned a corner and got out of my sight. I am curious to know what the mynah was going after.”

R. Subaraj has this to say: “Possibly flies or some parasite that were on or around the horse. These could be near the rear end of the horse, causing the myna to follow the horse

“The Jungle Myna (Acridotheres fuscus) of Malaysia and northwards was formerly called the Buffalo Myna as it was often found around water buffalos and cows, picking off the ticks and insects on or around the animal. The Javan Myna has also learnt the value of larger domestic animals pushing up grasshoppers and the like from grassy areas and follow them around. In Singapore, Javan (and Common) Mynas can often be found following lawn mowers, picking up the insects stirred up. Other birds like Cattle Egrets (Bubulcus ibis) do it too.”

Thank you Leykun for the interesting story and image; and Subaraj for your comment.

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  2. […] ibis Bird Ecology Study Group Myna-horse relationshipBut to see one around a horse? Or chasing the horse when it gallops around the course? … Other […]

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