There “he” is!
Perched on the window sill knocking on the pane aggressively demanding immediate attention! It’s the myna…. It came, know not from where, but offered companionship during my days of solitude in the desert! The aggressive knocking was intimidating initially but gradually became entertaining and stimulating and soon I started placing grains of rice on the sill.
‘The easiest route to establish relationship is through stomach’…. a saying that was often repeated at home must have worked its way triggering me to offer food to this unsolicited visitor! With no veranda or terrace and no garden, secluded to the third floor of a three-storied building, I resorted to utilize the kitchen window sill as the ideal spot for entertaining my flying visitor! And this started a relationship that was to fill my days ahead with curiosity, concern and interest on a species that has never held my attention till that date.
I thought about ways of entertaining and improving our relationship and dependency…. and started placing water in a thermocol plate beside the grains. As days passed, not just this particular myna but a few others found my window sill an interesting food joint! Of this crowd belonged mynas, sparrows and occasional parrots. My attempts at offering water in thermocol plate did scare the sparrows initially though myna instantly picked up my intention and made maximum use of it by dropping in every now and then to take a sip!
With limited access to resources, but badly wanting to entertain other visitors, I placed stones and leaves in the thermocol plate to give it a natural appearance… well, I don’t know whether this idea worked or whether myna’s actions provoked, all visitors started making use of the water plate! Well…. it didn’t stop here…. the desert days being too hot, myna conveyed a message by dipping its whole body in the plate and splashing the water across …. all the time aggressively knocking on the pane demanding attention and probably some action ….. the plate was not big enough and it could not contain water enough!
I managed to find a bigger plate which could hold more water. Meanwhile, myna did communicate that it doesn’t like stones in the plate. Every time I tried to place stones, I found him(it may be ‘her’) meticulously picking them out and placed either on the sill or chucked down.
Enthused by larger plate and more water, myna did enjoy bathing but by end of every bathing, I had to replace water and at times even the plate! Either by being overjoyed or overexcited or disturbed by the size of the plate, myna did break the edges every time and did soil the water making it inconsumable!
There was something unique about this particular myna and I was getting attracted to it more and more! It was lean but always appeared neat and clean. The claws were extremely clean unlike other mynas and it never failed to knock before, during and after consuming food or water.
Slowly, I started repeating the knocks gently from the other side of the pane. When it knocked, I knocked back. Though intimidated initially, just as me, I guess it gradually grew to like the tap from the other end. Maintaining a safe distance, he enjoys the tap and my call…. and our relationship is growing day by day.
But now, a new structure is coming up near our building and my visitor’s visiting hours are getting restricted to early morning and lunch hours. I realize saddeningly that the loneliness of our building was a point of attraction with no harm in the near vicinity… our building stood alone with no concrete structures for about 300 meters – all sides!
Probably the myna was looking for a home in here….. I understand they build their homes in any kind of holes or cavities…. it might have thought …. if only this window hole would open somehow, it could build its home here …. safe enough, high enough and far enough from the crowded compounds!
Having now recorded the relationship, it would be unfair if I leave unwritten the interesting facts I found about ‘myna’. I have often addressed myna as ‘he’… it may be ‘he’ or ‘she’… it matters not…. all that mattered and matters is the relationship…..!!
- Has exceptional talent as an imitator. Can mimic any sound it can hear – from the sound of human voice to the sounds of other birds.
- National symbol of Bali
- Group of mynas are collectively called a ‘local’ and ‘statutory’ of mynas
- Mynas mate for life. Their nests can be quite messy and both partners take part in the construction process
- Diet – Fruits, insects, worms and invertebrates
- Incubation period – 13–18 days by both parents
- The young fledge in 22 to 35 days
- Lifespan – 12-25 years