Mynah Rescue
Help for the Common Mynah you found
Acridotheres tristis
a.k.a. Indian Mynah; House mynah; Locust Starling
by Kathy Butterfield

A fully feathered baby  (called a fledgling) usually leaves the nest very early and hops into the bushes to hide.  Don't assume abandonment.  Unless the fledgling is in apparent danger, watch from a discreet distance.  If you see the parents return to the baby, refrain from disturbing the reunion because if the parents are continually frightened, they may never come back.  Fledglings are often mistaken for birds that are injured or unable to fly when, on the contrary, they're actually learning how to fly. A fledgling will hop out of the nest to perch on surrounding branches, or flutter to the ground, where it will be taught by the parents how to care for itself and find food.  A naked baby bird that has fallen from its nest is sometimes referred to as a "fallen pinkie".  If a baby bird has simply fallen from its nest and appears to be unharmed, it is best to put it back, if possible.  It is a false tale that once the baby has human scent on it, the parents will not feed it.  If you cannot get the baby bird back into the nest then the baby will need your help to have a chance of surviving.  Common Mynahs in need of rescue are often found in Australia and Hawaii.  They are frequently found fallen from the nest.  

Keeping the baby warm

The first area to be dealt with when taking care of a baby mynah is heat.  The baby must be kept warm at about 92-94 degrees Farenheit, until two weeks old, then reduce the heat to 86-88 degrees.  As feathers continue to come in, keep slowly reducing the heat.  Not everyone has a brooder on hand for unexpected rescues so here are some ideas for keeping the baby warm. Place a container with air holes in it, on top of a heating pad.  Lay a small cloth towel in the container and put paper towel on top of cloth towel.  The container can be a cardboard box.  Keep in a quiet darkened room between feedings. Be sure the surface the bird is placed on is not too warm.  The bird needs to be kept warm but not hot. If you have a thermometer, it can be put in an inside corner of the container that the bird is kept in.  Keep the bird in its container in a quiet darkened room between feedings.

Feeding instructions

A newly hatched baby bird (totally with no feathers) takes very little food at first in very tiny amounts.  You cannot rush the feedings.  Make sure the bird has swallowed between each dab of food so it does not aspirate.  It's not necesary to give the bird liquids and is not recommended- there is enough moisture in the food.  Giving liquids can aspirate a baby bird easily.  It will need feedings pretty often  - about 30 minutes apart. You will not need to feed the baby during the night. Even newly hatched babies do not get fed during the night.  Feed from sunrise until about 10 at night.  A baby bird that has some feathers will need to be fed at least every two hours.  Let the bird eat as much as he wants each feeding.  A mynah does not have a crop so you can't go by that.  I found that the baby just won't open his mouth any more and dozes off when he has had enough.  From last feeding at 10 pm, the baby will sleep until dawn.At 2 to 3 weeks old, the bird should be hand fed every 3 hours and you can begin giving small bites of fruit along with the food you have been feeding.

At 5-6 weeks old, a mynah will begin drinking from a bowl and picking at moistened food.  Weaning occurs at 7-8 weeks old.  Keep a separate bowl of dry pellets in the cage at all times, even though you are still doing the feedings so the bird will experiment with the pellets and eventually begin to eat them dry.

What to feed
You can feed soaked pellets that are intended for mynahs/softbills.  These are usually found in pet stores.  If the bird is starving and mynah pellets are not available, another option is canned or dry dog or cat food until you can get some mynah pellets/food somewhere. If dry is used, add water to make it moist and soft so you can dab bits of it with your finger, or with one end of a popsicle stick, or the tip of handle on a plastic spoon to feed a baby mynah.  Don't put too much in the birds mouth at a time and give the bird time to swallow between bites.  If the mynah is an adult, you can use your finger to put the food in its mouth if it won't eat on its own.   Don't try to give additonal liquid to a baby bird or any bird that won't eat on its own because there is enough moisture in the soaked food.

Have a dish of dry pellets available for an older bird to eat on its own.  Even it it may not be eating on its own at first, the water and food needs to be available so the bird can have access to it when it it is strong enough and ready to eat on its own.

If you don't have mynah pellets, another choice of food is to mix up some cooked brown rice, baby food oatmeal (such as Gerber's that comes in a jar), applesauce and boiled egg.  The boiled egg is good protein.  Mix altogether and mash it in the blender or by hand and add enough water to make it the consistency of cooked oatmeal or cream of wheat.  This mixture will already have enough moisture in it, so again, do not give the baby bird or an adult that can't eat on its own, any additional liquid.  You can also feed baby food - some Heinz or Gerber's Rice Cereal with Apple sauce or Banana.

The University of Hawaii uses the following feeding plan for rescued Common Mynahs:
A variety of human baby food that contains the most protein (like egg, veal, etc.) is fed to a really young bird.
As soon as the bird is a little bigger (lot's of feathers coming in, about 1 week before fledging), then the food is switched to the adult diet which is based on the recipe found in a book called Mynahs (by Otto von Frisch).

The mixture used is:
2 mashed bananas
2 1/2 handfuls of dry oatmeal
1 pound of small curd cottage cheese (4% milk fat)
2 handfuls of any commercial mynah/softbill food

Stirred all together, it should be the consistency of cookie dough.  Refrigerate and give a dish full per day to each adult bird.  For babies, warm up a small amount for each feeding.  You can also make this stuff with baby food during the transition to make it have more of a  liquid consistency.


Ken in Hawaii has volunteered to give advice to anyone needing help with a rescued Common Mynah.  His email address is:  kkaijr38@msn.com



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