Breeding the Dumont's Mynah


Our introduction to the Dumont's Mynah was in April 1991 at a bird wholesaler's in Mount Vernon, New York. The striking beauty of the Dumont's resulted in our quick purchase of the single bird. We recognized it as a mynah bird and it was caged with Indian Hill Mynahs, but we did not know which species it was. The wholesaler did not even know the name of the species or the type of mynah until he looked it up in an outdated mynah handbook. He told us that the mynah we had purchased was a Papuan Mynah.

Call it the Yellow-faced Mynah, Papuan Mynah or the Dumont's Mynah. It is the same bird, Mino dumontii, native to the islands of New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and the Bismarck Archipelago. There are relatively few Dumont's Mynahs in captivity. They were never imported in the same numbers as the Indian Hill Mynahs. Perhaps because of the rarity of the Dumont's in captivity very little information has been published concerning their care, habits and breeding.

The Dumont's Mynah is about the same size as a Greater Indian Hill Mynah. The lengths of our birds have varied from 10 to 12 inches. The adult weights have ranged from 240 to 290 grams. It shares the same glossy plumage and the white barring in the flight feathers. The similarities end there. The Dumont's has a large yellow skin patch surrounding the eye. We have found that the eye patch varies from yellow to bright orange and that it also varies in texture from smooth skin to what looks like a grated orange peel. The differences in color and texture are a result of age, diet and exposure to natural sunlight. The Dumont's that we have collected and those that we have seen in person all have a


solid black iris and pupil. There are a few photographs in books that show an orange iris but we have not come across one yet. The bill is a solid orange color and it matches the leg coloring. The Dumont's wears a collar of slightly ruffled feathers interspersed with what appears to be pin feathers that are called "leaders." The upper and lower tail coverts are white. The feathers on the lower abdomen are bright yellow.

The voice of the Dumont's is nasal sounding and their calls consist of quacks and crackles. Unlike the Indian Hill Mynah, the calls are monotone and less shrill. They also do not seem to have the ability to whistle. Our captive bred, handfed Dumont's have learned to talk and mimic sounds.

We had our first Dumont's sexed through Avian Genetics of Tennessee and it was determined to be a male. A fellow aviculturalist and friend, Dr. Ubaldo Leli, found an unsexed Dumont's Mynah in a Boston pet store and we purchased it in November 1991. A third bird, also unsexed, was


found at a pet store in New Mexico in December 1991 through the AFA Fast Ads. Our goal was to have a true pair and begin breeding the Dumont's. The first and second birds were introduced to each other in a large enclosure. They kept their distance within the cage hut coexisted peacefully. It was later determined that the second bird was a male also. We introduced the third bird while awaiting the sexing results for it. The third bird was immediately greeted by the two males with loud calls. The third bird paired up with the larger of the two males which was the first bird purchased. We assumed that by the friendly behavior that the third bird was a female. Our assumption was later confirmed with the sexing results. All of the introductions took place with our supervision. The second male was immediately removed from the fight cage.