Sunday, June 29, 2008

Appreciating the Red Jungle Fowl

Well, I do not know how to appreciate the beauty of the Red Jungle Fowl. The feathers, colouration, voice etc. etc., but I am learning and in due time when I get to compare more specimens, probably I could get better at it. Anyway, as a start, the fluffy soft feathers (bulu kapas) at the rump is a desirable trait ;)

Making of a Chicken Coop 2

These Red Jungle Fowl roosts on tree tops in the wild. So I have decided to add in a perch for them to feel more at home. They took to it immediately. Perch was given by Lawrence, a 7.5 feet long stick with nice texture. Planned to use it for the breeding pair of Shamas but decided against it as I do not want to disturb them. What with good signs that they have been paired nicely.

Finally decided to have a temporary roof of a simple plywood. Of course it wouldn't last in our weather, but it should serve its purpose for the time being.

Making of a Chicken Coop 1

Well, chickens are not meant to be kept in rabbit cages. So, with that in mind, I began a quest to build a larger cage (should call it chicken coop). Took me a couple of weeks to get it all together. From visioning in mind where on earth to put it down to getting to the hardware store to buy the materials and then finally to stitch the pieces together. Hope it can last for a couple of years.

The above pic is of the pair of Red Jungle Fowl testing out their new house this morning. No roof yet. Haven't figure out how I want it done ;)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Hybrid Squirrels

Since I am talking about the Common Tree Shrew that looks almost like the squirrel, I got into a discussion with a friend regarding breeding of animals for the pet industry. It seems all other countries are ahead of Malaysia in that aspect. Interestingly, I got to know that a neighbouring country has successfully developed a squirrel hybrid (3 different colouration actually). Haven't seen it, but has placed an order for one just out of curiosity.

Any serious conservationist would be aghast at hybridisation of any species. Especially if a particular species is already declining in numbers. Do hybrids occur in nature? Seems there has been observations of the Yellow-vented Bulbuls crossing with Red-whiskered Bulbuls in the wild. Personally I have not seen it, but it seems plausible. Especially when the Red-whiskered is quite difficult to find and mating with a close cousin could be an option.

Lets see how these hybrid squirrels looks like. Hope they don't end up like the Flower Horns of yesteryears.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Common Tree Shrew

Looks like a squirrel to me hahahaha!
Nice little creatures I found a neighbour keeping. Was told its called "Tupai Tanah" in Malay. Found out from the forum its called the Common Tree Shrew or Tupaia Glis. They are still babies.
Photo was taken on 23rd June. On the morning of 24th June, through an act of carelessness of the neighour, one escaped. I was visiting then and it was many hours since the escape, we saw some movement among the flower pots. I finally caught the tupai or actually it came scurrying to my hand near the fence. Very soft to the touch. In my opinion, much better than the Sugar Gliders commonly sold in pet shops ;)

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Yellow-vented Bulbuls

The Yellow-vented Bulbuls are common garden birds that has loud clicking and rolling songs. Saw a baby in a friend's place yesterday and manage to bring him home today. Kept him in a tall Skylark cage which I reckon would be his permanent cage unless a better option turns out in the future. Just for the fun factor and another arsenal to train Shamas in the future. Luckily they are still common and I have seen some that are regulars in my garden.

Many Bulbuls in Malaysia are either totally protected by law or restricted by licensing. The Yellow-vented, luckily is in neither list ;) This baby has good appetite. Been feeding him chicken feed (as was done by previous owner) and occasional cricket (5 thus far today).

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Pekan Nenas

Made a detour to Pekan Nenas, Johor today. Just to see what is happening in this small town and of course to visit the local bird shops. Nothing interesting. Lots of baby Oriental Magpies for sale at RM15. Shipment of Red-whiskered bulbuls from Thailand coming next month (not that I am interested). And the usual Merboks, Budgies, etc.

However saw an interesting old style barber shop and couldn't resist but got a hair cut at only RM5.50 hehehehe! in times of inflation, 1 sen saved is 1 sen gained ;)

White-breasted Waterhen (Ruak-ruak)

Saw a few fella trapping the White-breasted Waterhen (Burung Ruak-ruak) right in the middle of town today. In Tengkera, Malacca to be exact. These birds seem to be doing well amidst human settlements. A sight of them flying in the bushes are quite common - for the time being.

What amazes me is that they just need some bushes, a small stream with fishes and they could survive. However with the building of semi detached houses nearby, a small forested area (where these trappings took place) was cleared as the new home owners were afraid of snakes hiding there (so what I heard).

Could the survival of these interesting birds in small pockets of area among human dwellings be numbered? Only time will tell......
Notice the "racik" on the ground used to trap them.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Protecting Indigenous Animals

Today’s paper (The Star) has a very interesting article on the Korean Jindo Dog. It originates from the Island of Jindo in South Korea. Since 1962, the Jindo has been designated as a National Monument. Its exportation is prohibited and there is a national effort to preserve its purity from the danger of cross breeding. Looks like we have a lot to learn eh? Now its 2008 and what have we (Malaysia) done for our indigenous breed of animals?

If you are wondering why I am going off topic in a blog dedicated to birds by writing about dogs, well, its my blog and I will do as I please hehehehe! Anyway, its really related. This is something we should be doing for the Red Jungle Fowl.

An animal closer to the topic involved would be the Telomian Dog. Discovered in 1963 by Dr. Orville Elliot, living among the aborigines in the jungles of Malaysia. It is named after the Telom River, near where it was discovered. In the U.S. there is already a Telomian Dog Club and all Telomians there has their roots traced to only 2 pairs exported to U.S. years ago.

In its country of origin, Malaysia, the Telomians are relatively unknown. Most people would prefer the imported dogs like the Shih Tzu, Rottweilers, Snauzers and gosh! Some even go for Huskies – in tropical Malaysia, poor dogs! I myself keeps a pair of “American Pitbull Terriers” (which themselves has a history that reads like a novel) and maybe when the time comes for them to be reincarnated, I may consider the Telomians. If I can find one.

Would the Telomians go the way of the Dodo birds? Maybe, maybe not – we can’t lose something we do not know we have ;).

Sometimes ignorance is bliss. Sigh!..... I am cursed.

The Telomian Dog:

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Oriental White-eye

Took in another Oriental White-eye (Zosterops Everetti) today.
Saw a Zosterops Palpebrosa in Kandang bird shop 2 weeks ago which is very tempting. These Palpebrosa appears to be scarce nowadays or maybe I was looking at the wrong places.

The above pic is an old photo of Lucky, my first Oriental White-eye, an Everette.

Juvenile Shamas

Juvenile Shamas are commonly referred to as "Tai Mong" where I lives. Shamas from different parts of the country are well known for certain traits they possess. Personally, I do not know how true they are but many hobbyists are willing to pay extra for Shamas that originates from certain area. A friend has been pestering me for weeks to help him get a "Tai Mong" from Grik in Perak. Shamas from the area are well known for their fierceness.

Can't confirm any of it, but the "Tai Mong" that I got for him 2 days ago is a wonderful specimen as far as physical charateristics goes. Was a bit reluctant to buy one for him though due to many problems that may arise from it. Sigh...... ! just to get him off my back ;)

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Year Old Shama

Always a sucker for the ugly and underdogs hehehe! This is one ugly Shama that I just love. have been bringing him out the most. Brought him to Tengkera and friend's houses just for the fun of it ;) Must have been around 1 year old by now. Shows potential as a trainer for my future baby Shamas.

Adult Brahminy Kite

This is how an adult Brahminy Kite would look like. Saw one riding the thermal waves around Bukit Serindit the other day. What a beautiful sight.

Baby Brahminy Kite

Kept this baby Brahminy Kite for 2 weeks plus. Was fun while it lasted. Didn't dare keep until adult, although the rescue intention was good. But gotta let it go as it is a totally protected species. Don't want trouble as I would like to engage the wildlife department for other projects. Really miss him though. Baby has since learned to perch on the hand...... sigh! maybe one day ;)

Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Red Jungle Fowl

New addition to the family for the past week. A gift from a friend. The Red Jungle Fowl. Its a protected species, cannot keep in captivity but can shoot and eat ;) ..... ??? what logic? if its a protected species then, it should be treated like a protected species. Anyway the pair I have has been crossed with our local chicken and thus, it is not considered the Red Jungle Fowl..... so can keep ;)

Been reading a bit on it and will continue to research on these wonderful chicken. So far, there are indications that the real Red Jungle Fowl in Malaysia has been long extinct. The authorities should let us just keep and breed the pure true Red Jungle Fowl to stop the genetic watering down with our domestic chicken. Hmmmm.......

The pair is a juvenile. The cock has just started to crow and the back toe nails is just about to grow (just a pimple size as shown on photo).

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Meeting Wan & friends

Wan called about 5+ pm. Was loitering in Osman's house talking nonsense and gossipping. Actually wanted to find out his view of keeping the Red Jungle Fowl that has been interbred with our local chicken ;) Seems like it should be alright unless some nosy neighbours complains.

Prior to that was at Low's place to pass to him a male Merbok for him to breed from and return his metal cage. Will take it back from him after 2 clutches of chicks.
The Merbok involved:

Wan came with two friends. They were fascinated by the "Pentet". Finally passed to him the Tanau. One less worry for me when I go travelling.

Blue-rumped Parrot for Adoption

Wan called today to enquire about the Tanau, Puling or Blue-rumped Parrot.
Lucky he called. Was considering the pros and cons of releasing him back to the wild. This bird have been around a little bit. Quite hard working whistler. Initially bought him to teach my Shamas some extra tunes but found the care of these seed and fruit eaters quite troublesome.

Gave him to Low initially but he couldn't obtain a license for him. Hope he will be happy with Wan and vice versa.

Holding a Zebra Dove

Was bathing both my Zebra Doves this morning and came to realised that the technique of holding the birds are as important as any other tips and tricks that I have learned so far (as regards to feeding and care). With the correct technique, the birds become less alarmed and chances of injury or escape is minimised. Thanks to all that have taught me ;)