Saturday, December 20, 2008

Training a White-rumped Shama

Consider this - in the East Coast of Malaysia, the Red-whiskered Bulbul (Merbah Jambul) is competed at around eye level. Elsewhere, they are competed above head level, same as with the White-rumped Shama (Murai Batu) and Oriental White-eye (Mata Puteh). The Zebra Doves (Merbok) and Spotted Doves (Tekukur) are universally competed on top of poles 18 to 20 feet high. Hmmm...... how does all this come about? Maybe this all has to do with a bird's natural behaviour.

But hold on - in nature, the Red-whiskered Bulbul plays atop trees, so shouldn't they be hoisted up as well? Maybe it has more to do with commonly accepted avian culture (in Asia particularly) rather than anything. I do not know.

Well, since I have a pole for Zebra Doves, there is no harm in knowing how a caged Shama responds to higher altitude. I have tried it for a few days now on Apollo 6 and what I can say is that on the first day itself it took less than 5 seconds for him to start singing (which is more than I can say for my Zebra Doves). However, it should be noted that unlike Zebra Doves, Shamas do not tolerate heat too well, so I only start doing it about 6.30 to 7.00pm when there is no longer direct sunlight and leave him until dark about 8.00 to 9.00pm.

Below is Apollo 6 on day one at the pole.

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