December 11, 2018
Feathering the Nest, Part 1
- as seen by -Alana O'Sullivan
The Bali mynah (Leucopsar rothschildi) is a strikingly attractive and charismatic starling endemic to the island of Bali. With snow white plumage, a song of complex whistles and chirps, and an impressive courtship display, they are among the most entertaining bird species to watch in action. Unfortunately, the species is listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species with only around 100 individuals existing in the wild. WCS’s Bronx Zoo participates in the Bali mynah SSP (Species Survival Plan) in order to maintain genetic diversity and give the species hope for the long term.
Bali mynahs form monogamous pairs and build their nest in tree cavities. Both the male and female will bring small leaves, twigs, and feathers into a cavity to form their nest before the female lays a clutch of 2 to 3 eggs. When a pair of Bali mynahs was brought to the Bronx Zoo Ornithology Department’s off-exhibit breeding facility earlier this year, they quickly decided to build a nest in a nest box made to imitate a tree cavity. But when it came to what they wanted to build their nest out of, this pair was completely focused on one thing: the plumes of a bird of paradise.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Read Feathering the Nest, Part 2 here.