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Thread: The Indian Myna and my moral dilemma

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion Cage's Avatar
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    The Indian Myna and my moral dilemma

    I live near Maitland in the Hunter Valley

    I have noticed over the last two or three years that the most predominant bird species in the area is now the introduced Indian Myna. I have seen them in flocks of thirty or forty.

    There is a gang of about a dozen that have taken control of my yard, the only birds they haven't scared off is the yard boss, the Red Wattlebird, a pair of Peewees and a pair of feral Spotted Doves. Even the sparrows have moved on.

    They have taken over my birdbath, and when any other species tries to take a bath, they hassle them, the only ones to stand up to them being the Peewees. They even harass my Staffy, although she is one up, because one of them didn't realise she can jump about five feet in the air.

    I've planted Callistemons, Grevillias, Acacia, Red flowering Gum and other shrubs to attract birds, and I guess I selfishly don't want my yard to become a haven for a feral minority.

    My dilemma? I believe all creatures have a right to exist, and the Myna's didn't ask to be here, however I also believe that introduced predators, and the Myna is a predator, should not be given free rein. The original inhabitants also have a right to a peaceful existence, and since the Myna arrived in the 1960's they have proliferated at a frightening rate.

    So, what to do? Sending them all back to India is the most humanitarian solution, but that's not going to happen any time soon. There are some areas participating in a trapping and euthanasia program with some success. Is that cruel?

    I personally am so distressed at what I witness in my yard on a daily basis, with these pests attacking every other bird that visits, that today when shopping I purchased some rat poison, poisoned seed, with the idea of putting some out when I know they are coming to visit, and being aware that I will have to watch and make sure no unintended snackers partake.

    I don't feel comfortable with this, but I also feel I can't just sit back and do nothing, and let these foreign intruders take over at the expense of our native wild life.
    Last edited by Cage; 04-05-2012 at 11:53pm.
    Cheers
    Kev

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    Ausphotography Regular Allie's Avatar
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    I think poison is less humane than the trapping method for the removal of Indian Mynahs especially if the trapped birds are euthanised by a vet or the like. Providing seed (not recommended) is going to attract many different birds and ensuring only the target species eat the poison is going to be very difficult so you may kill the remaining wanted native birds in error. May I also suggest that you plant some spiky native plants and grasses rather than only nectar providing plants as these will provide habitat and safe havens for other birds who are intimidated by the IMs and will help discourage the IMs as well. Diligent removal of nesting material and eggs from IM Nests will also help but these measures need to be followed by your neighbours too as the IMs and the native Noisy Miners can be invaders of neighbourhoods rather than individual homes. Good luck it is possible to achieve.

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    Eradicate them by any means necessary Kevin they are a disease spreading pest.
    Electrify the bird bath, make sure you are running via a switch and when the bath is full Zap them....

    Try this link, some good info
    http://www.indianmynaaction.org.au/trapping_help.htm
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    You have my sympathy, Kev. As a lover of birds and bird photography, the Indian Myna is a blight on our native landscape. Trapping and euthanising seems the approved and humane option. Baiting is too dangerous to other species, despite the best care and attention. How frustrating to have gone to such lengths to bring natives into your domain only to have these rats of the air invade it and take over.
    Waz
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    regards, Kym Gallery Honest & Direct Constructive Critique Appreciated! ©
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Try diplomacy and reason. Show them you mean them no harm. Show them the error of their ways, and then show them the gate.
    On the bright side, you have successfully attracted birds to your backyard. That water feature is more efficient than you may have expected.
    (We need a myna icon.) Am.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kym View Post
    Aren't eagles protected? Now you , later
    Last edited by ameerat42; 05-05-2012 at 9:27am.

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    The other issue here is that this thread, being in Out Of Focus is publicly viewable (ie. non-members can see and read it). I would be careful what you write, cause the RSPCA etc, may take a dim view of using rat poison to kill birds, introduced pest or otherwise.
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    @ Allie
    Thanks for your comments. No current worries about the Noisy Miners as these imports have scared them off too.

    @ Dave
    I'm sure that would go down well with the RSPCA and the neighbours.

    @ Waz
    Thanks mate. They are almost in plague proportions in this area.

    @ Am
    Thanks for your thoughtful input. Should I electrify the gate?

    @ Kym
    Maybe overkill with the Cannon. In the good 'ole days, the 12G and bird-shot would have smartly solved the problem.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Thanks Rick. Point taken.

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    check with the local council, some have a trap service for Indian Mynas, though once the become established in an area its difficult to get rid of them.
    Cheers David.

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    I look at it this way.

    There are legitimate reasons why they need to be culled, it was human fault. There's nothing WRONG with these birds, they are not less worthy than any other bird species, so calling them names as some people do is immature and short sighted.

    I think as long as you give respect to them as you would any other species, but realise they do need to be culled and there is no JOY in this (as I've heard people say KILL the bastards!" type rubbish) then you have no real moral dilemma. We screwed with the natural order of things, now we have to fix it.

    Just because a species becomes a pest species doesn't mean we have to 'hate them' and act like they are making our lives hell to get back at us. It's ridiculous! Feel sorry for the species, but realise it has to be done, and that's it.

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    It's all about the Light!
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    Cane toad vs golf club? Is that not a sport in QLD?

    Culling feral goats, donkeys and camels in the north of South Australia?

    As long as its legal (in this case trapping via the council) go for it.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Lets just hope that this culling is done long before the problem of them as a pest is not too late, and beyond control.

    Rabbits, Cane toads, foxes etc ... the list goes on, and it should be dealt with before any native species are adversely affected.

    A bit of info from the Canberra Indian Myna Action Group:

    Their trapping and euthanasia program – endorsed by the RSPCA and the ACT
    Government – has been highly successful, and has humanely removed over 12,000
    Mynas from around Canberra in around 18 months. The program has led to a marked
    decline in Indian Myna numbers in backyards and nearby urban nature reserves, and
    has had a positive impact on local native biodiversity conservation.
    Check your local or state govt regulations and set up a trap.

    I used to have a small party of them hanging about in my front yard for a while too a while back.

    One day I noticed a fresh hatchling in a nest on my front veranda and tried to use a macro setup to photograph it, but had very limited access to it, so I gave up.
    I checked on it the next day too to see where it's at .. and I must have frightened it, and it 'jumped out' and fell to the ground. From there it took off on foot trying to gather some speed to fly off, but it couldn't.
    It was too fast for me to do anything about it, so I went about my business leaving it to it's own.
    I'm sure it wouldn't have survived the gauntlet of cats in my street .. but I reckon from about this day, they've probably boycotted my front yard.
    Many small native looking birds now swarm my totally over grown front yard again tho!

    Kev, if you can somehow manage to upset their belief that they have territorial claim over that particular patch of bush, maybe you can drive them without doing too much work.

    That is, if you set up a trap and this subsequently has the effect of them feeling threatened in this particular patch of soil, they may look elsewhere to further their progress.
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    I had a Major-Myna problem with them Turds nesting in the ceiling of my house And garage Kev. I also had a Mouse problem too. I kept Chooks and Ferrets so I think their left over food attracted them.
    Reading through the local rag one day I spotted an add listing a pair of De-sexed and micro chipped Seal point Siamese cats, free to good home they were Mother and son. The male was sleek like a Panther, I liked him. Within a week of them settling in they had Killed the Mice and Indian Mynas in the shed So now all that was left was the house, Where do you think the male went Yep through the man hole.. In the end I eradicated the pests and satisfied the cats need to hunt.
    Reluctantly I had to pass them on
    Last edited by Duane Pipe; 05-05-2012 at 5:07pm.

  16. #16
    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    @ Arthur

    Artie, mate, you are a legend of urban confusion.

    Many small native looking birds now swarm my totally over grown front yard again tho!
    Arthur, please explain the difference between a native bird, and a 'native looking bird'. Is the 'native looking bird' a species, or a common bird looking for natives, or a bird that looks like a native. Mate, I'm already confussed ( confusion + concussion) so I really need clarification here.

    And if it seems like I'm taking 'the p!ss', well I am, but in the nicest way, and I only do it with people I respect.

    Cheers

    Kevin

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    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    Well Dave, the Siamese seem to have solved your problem.

    However, I have about 25Kg of super fit Staffy, her name is Roxi, AKA Roxi Schwarzenegger. and I think there would be a serious conflict between the cats and the dog. She has actually plucked a Myna out of the air, it must have not been paying attention.

    Cheers

    Kevin
    Last edited by Cage; 05-05-2012 at 8:28pm.

  18. #18
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I absolutely hate the blighters, fort the same reason as you have given, Kevin. I would love to see them eradicated so as to let the native irds, and even some of the other less aggressive introduced species, also survive.

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    http://steveaxford.smugmug.com/ Steve Axford's Avatar
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    Good luck with the Indian Mynahs. I'm very lucky here and have no introduced birds, but I do have cane toads, and Camphor Laurels and Privet and Lantana and ...

  20. #20
    Still in the Circle of Confusion
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    @ Lance
    Thanks for your sentiments Mate.

    @ Steve
    Yeah Steve, we all have our local problems.

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