Myna belong to the same family as starlings but they are a bird of the tropics. They are distinctive, brown, noisy birds with black heads, yellow eye patches, yellow beak and legs.
Mynas were introduced in the 1870s, mainly in the South Island, to control insect pests. They had died out there by 1890, but were common around Wellington, East Cape, and from Whanganui to Waikato. They progressively expanded northwards, reaching Auckland around 1947, and have become very abundant in Northland where they are now listed as a pest species. Meanwhile, they disappeared from the Wellington region, probably because the climate was too cold in winter.
Mynas are aggressive birds with a shrill, raucous call. They mate for life but should one of the pair die the survivor will find a new mate. When not rearing young they roost together in large flocks like their cousins the starling. They can be spotted along the edges of roads unconcerned about the traffic speeding past them.
They damage fruit crops and threaten other birds (in particular they can be a threat to native birds).