On May 31, 1986 two nestling Crested Mynas were brought to us when
we lived in Richmond, B.C. They had been found lying in the garden
of a home in Vancouver and both birds were cold and sick. Sadly one
nestling died shortly after being admitted into care. The remaining
young bird would not gape for food and had to be force-fed.
Gradually the Myna became stronger and in a few weeks became a lively,
noisy fledgling. We continued to raise him and in time he was ready
for release. As we were aware that Crested Myna numbers were declining
in the Vancouver area, we called the local Natural History Society
to ascertain the best location for the release. We were surprised
to be told that it was estimated there would no longer be Mynas in
B.C. within ten years, and that our bird’s chances for survival
and finding a mate were slim. It was recommended to us that he not
After a lot of thought, we decided to keep “our” Myna
and, as he was going to live permanently with us, we thought we
would give him a name. It didn’t take us long to agree that
the name “Morris” suited him well – after all, lots
of people had heard of the Morris “Myna”!
Morris lived and flew freely in our indoor birdroom, which has
an outdoor aviary leading from a window in the room. How he loved to sit in the sun. He was the boss
of the room and shared it with many different feathered friends (and,
on occasion, furry friends too). He made it very clear he did
not like crows, jays or ring-neck doves and screeched loudly if any
of these birds dared to fly around in the room. He did not mind songbirds
or rock doves (pigeons). He paid close attention to every new “patient”
put into his room and could often be seen sitting on one of the high
perches peering into the newcomers cage to see who had been added.
Morris had a variety of calls. He screeched (very loudly!!), cackled,
whistled (including the occasional wolf-whistle – now who would
have taught him that, Clint?!!!) and mimiced some of the other birds,
plus had his own unique sounds.
Although Morris was not tame, as he was raised for release, over the
years he became used to having people around and he came
really close if offered a special treat (a mealworm!!). If he was on
a high perch and was offered a mealworm, he would almost hang upside
down to grab it!
In March 2003, we read that the last two
Crested Mynas in Vancouver had died. At that time, Morris was the
last remaining wild born Myna in North America.
During the last couple of years, Morris' eyesight began to fail and he no longer wanted to fly around, preferring to stay in his cage, although the door was never closed. Sadly, in September 2007, Morris passed away in his sleep at 21 years of age! We will miss his cheeky ways, his loud voice when something annoyed him and his very endearing personality. Our birdroom will not be the same without him.