Monday, August 31, 2009

Orange-sided Thrush (song)

Managed to find 2 recorded songs of the Orange-sided Thrush on the internet. Appears to be recordings of wild birds. Hope I am not infringing on any copyrights. Just want to share samples of the song and see how my thrush turns out ;)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Orange-sided Thrush

I have posted some pics of this interesting thrush in the MBF. Thought I put them up here as well. Will try and see how he/she sounds like when in form. Actually got it since juvenile and it is just completing its first molt. Heard some rolling tweets but nothing like the sound clips I heard.

Fed on an insectivore feed, a few insects and a small slice of fruit everyday.

Bathing has been limited to twice weekly. Seriously need to reduce the number of birds hahaha!
Maybe got to let go the Blue-crowned hanging parrot, the only candidate I could spare at the moment. Problem is, it comes with proper papers. Aiya! challenges, challenges, challenges!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Black Feet Shama

Much has been said about the White-rumped Shama with black feet. Out of curiosity, I did try to look out for one. And finally fate would have it that I saw one for sale and it turn out to meet and surpass my expectation. Only thing to do now is to slowly wait for him to build up his confidence and probably I could have a ready bird to "chai" by year end ;)

Problem with having a free roaming chicken is that, he always gets in the way when I want to bath or place the birds on the floor. Aiya! looks like they are going up for adoption :D

Green Singing Finch (2 mth later)

A video of my Green Singing Finch after about 2 months. Was suspicious initially whether this fella will be with me long. So far he has been a joy to own. Sometimes I wonder where he got all those energy from.

There are no competitive finch keeping where I am from. This little fella is good, as far as I understand these Green Singing Finches. Does not "aw tau" (twist his head around), which is a common habit observed in these green singers.
Starting today, I spiced up his food with a teaspoon of Canary Molting formula seed to see whether he will benefit from it ;)

Took him out to the "Merbok Padang" once and hang him at eye level on the poles meant for Merboks. He sang loudly and beautifully there. He just earned himself a passport to more outings hahaha!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Breeding the Peaceful Dove (Merbok)

The cage/aviary was meant to keep chickens, but I have converted it for keeping the Merboks. 2 eggs laid so far and the hen is sitting on it already.

Nest of the Yellow-vented Bulbul 2

Update on the newly hatched Yellow-vented bulbul shicks. 3 eggs but only 2 hatched:

22nd Aug '09 (6p.m.): Decided to "chai" my Jambuls in the garden. It disturbed the parents of the YVBB. Both flew out and seems angry with my Jambuls. When I moved the Jambuls further away from their nest, they seemed a little more pacified and return to minding their own business.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Training Aviary

Well, everything has its blessings. The escape of the Green Jungle Fowl frees some room in the aviary for me to experiment in training of Zeus in a flight aviary. His middle toe nail on his right foot broke off. Hopefully his toe nail on his left foot follow suit. The hopping and flying around must have caused enough abrasion to chip off his overgrown nails.

Getting him in and out of the aviary doesn't seems to be a problem. Now the other thing to take note of is whether his stamina would improve over time.

22nd Aug '09: Took out 2 Shamas to "chai" with Zeus in the aviary. Very interesting exercise. Managed to see displays not normally seen when Zeus is in a bamboo cage. Would have taken a video if not for my messy garden. For the record, the black feet and 8.4" Shama sang well. Zeus utilised most of the front part of the aviary to show aggression. Diving down, hovering and hopping on the ground like a squirrel. However not much of singing though. Hope I can find time to bring him out to "chai" at the "Merbok padang" tomorrow.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Death of a Wild Mata Puteh

Yesterday, a wild Mata Puteh flew into my house (anyway, it is quite a common occurence depending on season). Mistaking it to be an escaped bird, my children got excited and frightened the poor fella which flew right into a rotating ceiling fan. Well, the poor bird met with an untimely death. Appears to be female. After saying a short prayer for her, she ended up in the dustbin.

May she fare better in the afterlife ;)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Nest of the Yellow-vented Bulbul

A common sight : nest of the Yellow-vented Bulbul

Decided to document it because it is right next to my garden fence. 3 eggs at the moment. Hope to capture photos of the chicks soon when they hatched ;)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Escape of the Green Jungle Fowl

Wow! today my "park attendant" (this nick name got a long story behind it) forgot to close the door of the aviary housing my Green Jungle Fowl. Piecing together, this is what might have happened. After escaping, the GJF was a bit frightened and tried to get back into the aviary. My "park attendant" must have panicked and tried to help. Seeing her approaching, the GJF also panicked and flew to the roof of my house. Seeing all the action, the free roaming Red Jungle Fowl (female feathered) must have chased after him (being territorial and all).

When I got back, the RJF was proudly perched on the roof top with no GJF in sight. Rest of the day was spent catching the RJF to be caged so that in case the GJF chooses to return, he won't be chased away again. Chances are quite slim as the GJF is a bit jumpy and easily scared. So, all human actibvities might have driven him further and further away.

Here is hoping that he can find his way back. If not, hopefully he will produce some Bekisar in the wild hahahaha!

Update: no sign of the GJF this morning (11th Aug). Looks like I have to wish him bon-voyage ;)

Partial White Shama

Below are 2 of John Yim's Shama with interesting features:

Interesting note: the Shamas need not molt to change colour (about 2 to 3 months of food change), after the molt, colour will return to normal.

Will start feeding Apollo 6 next week to turn his tail white. Hopefully I get as good a result. Poor fella need to look different to attract some attention hehehe!
Otherwise, being short-tailed in a long-tailed bird world has its disadvantages ;)

Bonsai competition

Taking a break from birds, a visit to the Bonsai and Orchid exhibition is a refreshing change. The only downside is that I forgot to bring a camera. So all the shots are taken via my aging camera phone.

Actually it wasn't a break from the birds. I managed to take home a 10 year old Jambul and unload 2 Jambuls (Pikat & Reject) and 1 Shama hehehe!

Nice tree bark:

A bald tree:

Can imagine hanging birds below this tree:

Caught up with 2 friends in the exhibition:

Worth the trip there. Sure is an eye candy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Red Jungle Fowl

I have often heard of the wild nature of the original Red Jungle Fowl. About how despite caring for them from day 1, they still retain their wild nature. Yesterday, I had a first hand experience witnessing how wild they are. I kept 2 females from young (from eggs actually - taken probably at day 2). These 2 young chickens are kept initially with a lighted bulb in an acrylic aquarium in my living room. That is to show how much exposure they have to humans.

When they are bigger, they were moved into a cage outdoor and subsequently, 1 was given away to a friend who says he wanted to breed these RJFs. I retained 1 and eventually kept for some time with my male Green Jungle Fowl. After getting my female feathered RJF cock (not ori) and seeing him come of age, I decided to release the ori female RJF to roam free with the RJF cock.

It happened yesterday, I opened the door of the aviary and the female came reluctantly out, took about 1 second to assimilate herself and took flying off. She flew above my neighbours' roof (2 storeys) until she disappeared out of sight. Didn't see hwr for the entire day after that. Thought she was gone forever.

Then this evening, saw her foraging for food near my house. A friend told me she would probably loiter around for a week or so before disappearing for good. Well, it would be interesting to see if the prediction is accurate.

Female RJF foraging on the ground:

The feature is more pheasant like with small drooping tail. If she can mate with the female feathered RJF, then their chicks could be something worth raising ;)

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Albino Oriental Magpie Robin

Commonly known as "Or Pek" (Black and White), the Oriental Magpie Robin below cannot qualify for the name. The black markings are non existent. First time I see a white magpie. Now waiting for a chance to see an albino White-rumped Shama. I am sure there is one out there ;)

First molt to adult feathers:

Anyone interested to buy an Albino Magpie can contact the following email

Anak Tunggal

There is this thing about "anak tunggal" (single offspring). Quite a lot of my Malay friends believe that the anak tunggal will turn out very good. I didn't have much of a chance to observe this phenomena objectively. This month, 2 potentials will enable me to observe this thing more closely. 1 is a Tekukur that was bred by a friend from a female I bought not too long ago thinking that its a male. Its her first brood and there is only 1 chick. Should be interesting.

Another is a Shama chick. This is the first time such occurence was noticed by my friend. He says, he has never come across a single chick before. 3 chicks very common, 2 chicks fairly common. Lets put to test this "anak tunggal" theory ;)

A picture of the Shama tunggal:

Will post picture of the Spotted Dove's tunggal when I get it ;)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Chase for the perfect food?

OK, I got tired of making my own bird food, getting tired of adding extra oomph to existing bird food available in the market. So, I jumped at the chance to acquire a good brand of bird food for insectivore birds that is available in Singapore. Wow! at the exchange rate of 2.452 (time I bought the food), it sure will burn a hole in my pocket ;)

The process? contact the distributor in Singapore, get a friend to bring it to Malaysia and collect from the friend. Simple eh?

Well, I have been blessed with good friends who do not mind lending a helping hand. However, on the transaction day, a few logistic nightmares happened that is a learning in itself (note to self: don't cram too many things into a day).

I actually started out early to meet my friend in Machap to take delivery of the food. With time in hand, I thought I traveling to Merlimau to buy dukong (local fruit) for my friend, catch up with a "bird kaki" would be a good idea.

To make a long story short, I underestimated the distance from Merlimau to get back to the highway, and the distance to Machap. Was hauled up halfway by the friendly traffic policemen out to "cari makan" for speeding, nearly run out of fuel and felt terrible still being late :(

OK, now that the food is with me, it better lives up to expectations hehehe!
I have enough stock to last me between 6 to 10 months depending which birds I feed it with. Will report on it in due course, but being recommended by good knowledgeable hobbyists, I have no doubts about it. Now the next hurdle is to get a bird with good traits and see how far he can go (looking at 1 expensive bird at the moment - expensive is rather relative, so its expensive to my standard which by the way is quite low) ;)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Self Censorship

Often, in my zest to share, there are posts that I have to re-evaluate and eventually remove taking into considerations the prevailing laws and sensitivities.
When I post a little too much, is it an act of showing off?
I hope not. It was never the intention. This blog was started to put in text, personal thoughts and experience as an amateur songbird keeper trying to find the best way to enjoy the hobby.

Some friends has suggested that I would truly be enjoying myself in my retirement days since I could devote more time in it. However, bird keeping has not been in my list of things to do during retirement. I plan to keep birds during my productive years and hopefully has nothing to do with them when the time comes for me to retire. The downside of having animals depending on you is the drag on your freedom to travel and move about, the freedom to disappear from "civilisation" for months on end. That would be the main reason why I would not be able to keep any "pets", should I retire and call it a day from my work.

So, while I am at it (bird keeping), I will try to document as much as legally possible, the local birding scenes as I see it. Although, in my opinion, omitting to talk about things like cock-fighting, bird-fighting, gambling, hunting etc. etc. that is happening actually leaves out a huge chunk of information.

Peace to all. Sukhi hotu - may you be well.