Project Description


The brahminy myna or brahminy starling is a member of the starling family of birds. It is usually seen in pairs or small flocks in open habitats on the plains of South Asia.

Facts & Details:

  • Scientific Name: Sturnia pagodarum
  • Category: Waders
  • Scientific Name: Calidris minuta
  • Weight: 20–30 g
  • Size: 12–14 cm; 17–44 g; wingspan 28–31 cm.
  • Current Population Trend: Increasing
  • Conservation Status: Least Concern (LC) [IUCNREDLIST]


This starling/myna is pale buff creamy with a black cap and a loose crest. The bill is yellow with a bluish base. The iris is pale and there is a bluish patch of skin around the eye. The outer tail feathers have white and the black primaries of the wings do not have any white patches. The adult male has a more prominent crest than the female and also has longer neck hackles. Juveniles are duller and the cap is browner.


The Brahminy starling is seen in northeast Afghanistan, east into the foothills of western Nepal and West Bengal, south to eastern Pakistan, and throughout peninsular India. Non-breeding populations of the Brahminy starling are also found in Sri Lanka.


The Brahminy starling inhabits open deciduous forest, scrubby areas of jungle. And also the cultivated areas close to human habitation. Ranging in lowlands and foothills up to elevations of 1,800 metres.


The Brahminy Starling feeds primarily on insects such as grasshoppers and crickets, cockroaches, termites, bugs, butterflies, moths and caterpillars, flies, ants, bees and beetles. It also takes spiders, snails and earthworms. It consumes plant matter such as fruits and berries from various plant species, flower parts and nectar.


The courtship display of the Brahminy starling takes place on the ground. The male singing and standing erect, puffing out the feathers on the chest and crest and fanning the tail up and down. The female lays a clutch of between 3 and 5, usually 4, pale blue eggs incubated by both sexes for a period of 12 days. Both adult birds fed their chick until they leave the nest after 18 to 21 days.

Regional Names:

  • Gujarati: શ્યામશિર બબ્બાઈ, બાહ્મણી મેના
  • Bengali: বামুনি কাঠশালিক
  • Bhojpuri: पूहई, ब्राह्मणी मैना
  • Hindi: कालासिर मैना, चन्ना हुडी
  • Kannada: ಕರಿತಲೆ ಕಬ್ಬಕ್ಕಿ
  • Malayalam: കരിന്തലച്ചിക്കാളി
  • Marathi: ब्राह्मणी मैना, भांगपाडी मैना, पोपई मैना
  • Nepali: जुरे सारौँ, जुरे रुपी
  • Punjabi: ਬ੍ਰਾਹਮਣੀ ਮੈਨਾ
  • Sanskrit: शङ्करा