Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breeding the Java Sparrow

I am getting lazy, so I will paste something I wrote in the Malaysia Bird Forum (its a reply to a member's request for help in setting up an aviary as his school science project):

OK, I have thought about this project over and I present my thoughts and invite debates

Now, from the management of aviaries point of view. It would be difficult to manage a multi species aviary especially in a school compound.
You must think of the non-working weekends - who is in charge? of cleaning, feeding etc.
Think of the long school holidays - who is in charge?
It is not a short term project. Long term management and upkeep have to be considered lest it becomes another "big idea" that becomes neglected over time.
Keep in mind that the birds are living things and can't be put on hold even though the human carers have more important things to do.

My suggestion. Keep things simple. Have a single specie aviary. It would make the upkeep simple such as food and nesting requirements. So, even the gardener can be taught quite simply how to maintain the aviary. Another problem solved would be inter species compatibility. Some species are quite aggressive and could present a problem for other more docile species.

So, what do I suggest you keep? It has to be non TP (totally protected), no license requirement (cost and frozen licenses comes to mind), preferably local breed (you are teaching local kids here, so might as well teach them the love for their own Country's fauna) and hopefully there is a higher purpose to all of this.

What specie eh?

Let me suggest the Jelatek or Java Sparrow. They were common wild birds back in the old days. Stories of "pikat Jelatek" , catching Jelatek etc etc abounds if you speak to some old timers. First they are hardy birds, live well in a communal and breeds readily in an aviary. Not to mention that they are actually attractive birds and one of those local species that does not require a license to keep. As the population in the aviary grows, consider tagging and releasing the birds to hopefully establish a thriving wild population (this is the higher purpose that I spoke about). For "ego" purposes maybe can tag as SKDB (Sekolah Kebangsaan Dean Barau hahahaha!). Then your school can be proud of something, the kids learn something, the Country benefits somehow and DeanBarau has less work to do

Wa! I am spending too much time in the Forum. Must get back to my TV. How guys? feedback! feedback!

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