Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Hwamei Pt.2

Hwamei Pt.1 was posted on 29th Dec 2009.
So, part 2 came one year later. Bird is now somewhat more stable, but not what I would consider "jadi". Still kept mostly covered. Nowhere to "chai" :-D
Hope when it is time to update on Pt.3, there is more to show....

The below are a few clips put together as the pause in between is too long. There is a female Hwamei in the house. Variety vice is a letdown so far.... sigh!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Keeping Grasshoppers

To date, I have kept a over 2,000 grasshoppers alive for a month already in a little experimentation. Of course some died, but very few of them in comparison. Will start to document the different types soon. At least a photo for the file. You may never know, with the booming plantations (which uses pesticides generously) and housing projects, these insects may one day be as rare as the Dodos :-D

Exit Plan

Due to the many changes that will/may be happening in 2011, it is probably prudent that I have an exit plan for my passion for all things avian. Maybe keeping a dog would be much less stressful.
With a hefty fine of up to RM100,000 for keeping birds without proper documents.... maybe all these conservation thing is better left to the government.

I have made it a rule not to profit from sale of birds and have therefore always sold birds at or below cost. It is my hope that the exit plan would not need to be executed. The emergency exit plan has to take into consideration birds that can never be safely released back to the wild. Oh! so many things to consider.... will make a trip to the Wildlife Department this coming Tuesday....

Note: exit plan applies to breeding local birds only (does not include house birds ;-))

Tanin experiment

In a published study, birds given an option of tanin (read green tea) and water has been observed to regulate their own tanin comsumption (read drinks both).

Below is my own experiment with a Red-whiskered bulbul.... now, how I wish I have a CCTV installed :-D








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Free flying Puteh

The time is just right to train another free flying Mata Puteh. It can't be hurried. Base on logic, it must gain confidence in exiting its own cage before confidently & reliably returning.

So, session one wasn't so successful even though it very much longed to get a bite out of the orange that was placed so near its cage. But over time, if I am consistant......

Maybe I need to place a proper perch outside ;-)







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Sunday, December 26, 2010

Tanin rich water

Keeping some softbill like the Hill Myna, a potential problem looms over the horizon. Subject to iron poisoning, a.k.a. hemochromatosis - an accumulation of iron that is known to occur in birds such as the Hill Myna and Toucan, many ways have been suggested to combat the problem.
Nobody knows how in the wild the birds overcome these problems.... and one of the hypothesis is uptake of tanin rich water which seems to slow down the absorbtion of iron. Plus being a good antioxidant that may detoxifies the liver err..... no proof yet ;)

So, feeding an imported low iron diet.... tried I have. It is yet to be proven though, as in the wild, such birds consume much iron rich food. So, to save cost, I have converted it to maintenance chicken feed (considered a moderately low nutrition food). Another tips is to limit fruits intake which is rich in vitamin c (improves absorption of iron). This I personally feel is not right as in the wild, these softbills' main diet consist of fruits. So, picking up tea drinking is my choice.

Tea of choice would have been "Pu Er" as it is rich in tanin (dark colour) although the green tea is much better researched (don't know why, but the green tea is getting all the publicity). But decided to just feed "lio pau" tea as a box was given to me as present. Very similar to "pu er" and ahem! good for the bird keeper too....

Below is the colour of the "lio pau" tea even after the 5th time brewing....


Nobody seems to be talking about hemochromatosis in Red-whiskered Bulbuls.... either because they are not commonly kept by our Western counterparts (and therefore no research) or it just is not a problem with them. No harm giving them the tea treatment.... me thinks :-D

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Saturday, December 25, 2010

Historical pic of the bird trade

Now, I may be infringing on some copyright thing, but base on good faith and for fair educational use (taken from the pages of "The Encyclopedia of Malaysia Animals - Prof Dr. Yong Hoi Sen"), I hope it is allowed ;-)

I do not remember such scene in my younger days, but assuming its from old archives and it is not the painter's own figment of imagination, then it would make an interesting scene to sell birds in such manner.



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Friday, December 24, 2010

Cat busting



Quite a productive week of cat busting. 3 cats caught & relocated. Too bad there are none of those cat eating foreign workers in my area, otherwise I would just give them the trap and.... muahahaha!

Oh! and a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year to all. May this season brings you & your family joy and happiness in abundance....

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2nd round of Canary keeping



A couple of years back, I bought a Canary from Macau in Taman Tasik Selatan, K.L.. Very hard working fella. It lasted maybe 2 months in my home before I gave it away to a friend. The song just wasn't for me. At the time, I think it's song was very artificial, meaning it doesn't sound natural. Not the type of song you would expect to hear in the jungle. Well, they have been captive bred for so long I suppose they have evolved away from their wild anchestors.

So, today I have decided to give these little fellas another chance to enchant me. There wasn't much to choose from. The nice looking ones did not sing and this fella above belted out a short song for me. Nails on the leg are all twisted in a deformed way, but never mind.... such deformed birds would last longer in my home as nobody would want them. Bird keepers are such perfectionists.... sigh!

See how this fella fare....


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Another mystery

This is one of those mysteries that I can only make a calculated guess on but will probably unable to conclude with any certainty.
The cage was hung on a clothes line, damaged but still on the clothes line. So, it rules out the cat. Bird is still alive and well (Mata Puteh) inside, that may also rule out the Sparrowhawk as it is one of those determined hunters that won't give up.... unless frightened by off before it manage to get to the bird. Shrike attacks are not uncommon, but they normally do not have the strength to break cages. Human carelessness have been ruled out by interviews ;-)
Starlings, although abundant, so far have not been seen to be harassing the birds. Crows are scarce, but cannot be ruled out altogether, but with their intelligence, they should have got the bird.... Tree Shrews and squirrels are unlikely climbers on the thin clothes line....

Hmmm.... hoping its the Sparrowhawk that is causing the nuisance :-D



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Thursday, December 23, 2010

Partial Albino Spotted Dove

Interesting specimen spotted outside a phone shop....



What appears to be a partial albino Spotted Dove....

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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wrong place, wrong equipment



A Red-whiskered Bulbul kept in a Shama cage, hang up on a Merbok pole, in a Merbok "chai" place - all the wrong equipment.... but since when am I concerned with what others think hahaha!

Now, why would I do that? basically after spending much time in a tall cage, I thought a change of environment would be welcomed. See how the fella develops from there or get spoiled by that.... never try never know.... my motto

I remember a word of wisdom from a true master (non avian related) "Everybody can learn the rules.... to be a real master, you must learn the exception to the rules".

.... I am trying to learn.... I am trying to learn muahahaha!

Molting Shama



Something is terribly wrong with this bird.... just out from a molt and started another major molt. If I were to change its water or food while he is still inside, he will just whack my hand like a frenzied Magpie. Still singing daily, but appears not to know the word "die". Sigh! reminds me of another bird that molts until it can't fly hahaha!

Feeding it plenty grasshoppers, feeding on Nutrapro & ordered some food reinforcement from Ipoh. Hoping that it helps....

Rumours

Heard a lot of rumours of what is in store for birdkeepers in the year 2011.... didn't go and verify it, but the new year is just around the corner. Let's wait and see....

As at the moment of writing, it still remains rumours.
1) Licenses will be issued for Magpie Robins
2) Each is limited to 3 birds
3) Breeding of Shamas will be allowed
4) Breeding of Straw-headed Bulbul will not be allowed

Base of item (4) in the list, it would then be a very sad day for the conservation of the Bulbuls in Malaysia when in Thailand and Indonesia, they have successfully bred them in captivity commercially.

I will go collect my canary from the shop tomorrow.... as a precaution, at least such birds won't be a magnet for future harassment :D

Friday, December 17, 2010

Checking temperature

Bought a gadget to monitor temperature variation. In tropical climate, temperature variation is not too great. But its good to know the etreme variations in a room. Especially those that are near the windows & get direct sunlight :-)




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Thursday, December 16, 2010

Encyclopedia of Malaysian Animals

I am no book reviewer, but thought I highlight something I find interesting.... whenever it is Malaysian fauna related. Only complain is, the details are not in-depth enough and got me wanting to find out more. Can't blame them though, there is only so much you can cramp into a book that attempts to cramp all Malaysian animals into :-D



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Off Road Misadventure

It is one of those days that you have the blessings of knowing and experiencing the good and helpful nature of the human side. On an outing (chasing after an elusive bird of course) recommended by a friend (got a call on the way home) - Thought I will just go and see the place only as I do not have my bino nor my traps with me.

Making a long story short, I had a little experience most off-road hobbyists encounter on a daily basis :-D



Here, I should mention much gratitude to 4 young Malay lads who tried to help and got muddied all over their bodies. Even though unsuccessful, it was the attempt that matters. Thanks too to a friend who drove all the way there to try pulling me out & loan of the metal chain.
Thanks too to the unknown Malay gentleman along with his family who finally pulled me out. Much gratitude :-)

Now I know why some folks just love 4WD. I am beginning to like them too :-D

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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Game chicken

A very nice rooster that I saw in a shop. Retired fighter, but at RM600, a little on the higher end. Could easily get at least 10 Red Jungle Fowl for that price.



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Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Lovebird



Learned a cool trick to highlight birds in a photo. Greyscale everything except the subject ;-)
Goes to show that old dogs do learn new tricks....

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Grasshopper species

Is this the grasshopper locally known as the "Lionhead" grasshopper?
2 persons I have checked with thinks so. According to the grasshopper catcher, he can probably cath 2 or 3 only in a single outing.



Top view....



The male - smaller in size



These are more common. 800 to 1000 caught in a single outing. This guy must be a pro. Even at home when trying to get them out, they are quick and strong jumpers.







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Homing Sparrows

I was at a friend's house where he caught some house sparrows. On a good day, if he bthers to send to the shop, even a house sparrow can fetch RM1 each. Anyway, he was lazy to send to the shop, the 8 sparrows that he caught. He is unwilling to release near his home, as they are viewed as pests that eats his Spotted Doves' seeds and their droppings are messy in his house compound. He ask me to release near my house.

I stay maybe 15km away only and I told him they would find their way back. So, as an experiment, I tagged all the 8 sparrows with the smallest cable tie I could find and release them in my house compound. I ask him to look out for sparrows with such markings on their right leg. Just to see if they can be safely released 15km away from their feeding ground.

;-)




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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Scene from China

Well, didn't get to see much birding activity in China. Passed by a few houses with birds.
So far, below is the house with the most birds I have seen on the visit. One of the Hwamei is very loud....



Back home, on a more down to earth topic - the right to live.
As any bird keeper that lives near wooded areas, there will bound to be encounters with pests sooner or later. From the civet cat to the house cat, sooner or later one of these fellas is bound to show up. I have had my fair share of encounters and mishaps. To retaliate is easy, I have retaliated many times. But when I am sure the pest is innocent, it is only fair that they come to no harm.

So, I have decided to release an innocent tree shrew. Found not guilty in my court of law :-D

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Discolouration of a Jambul's feathers

I was alarmed initially when I came back from a 9 days holiday to find one of my Red-whiskered Bulbul all puffed up. There are still water in the cups but there are no food in its cup. First response was to fill up the cup with food which I did. (Was told later that its a wrong move, as the bird could overeat and when it drinks water, the pellets would all swell up and could cause sudden death)



Luckily, nothing untoward happened. A friend was supposed to drop by every 2 or 3 days to see to the birds but he was absent for 7 days because my dog was patrolling the house with much enthusiasm. Sigh! another logistic thing I have to look into....

Previously the chest feathers are greyish black in colour and they do not meet in the middle like the brown feathers. So, this colouration must have been a sign of poor health. Gave it a daily dose of fruits - papaya, orange and bananas.... in that order. All fortified with vitamin B complex which I crushed into powder and sprinkled on the fruits.

Chronology of recovery.... next day, no fluffy feathers (in the pic), 3rd day - heard his signature "kekek", 5th day (today) - all seems well. Voracious appetite - can finish his dry pellets in 2 days (usually 4 days) and 1 small size banana in a single day. Whew! close call.... hopefully no permanent damage. Brown feathers kind of cool :-D



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Hookbill

So far, I have been avoiding the hookbills especially non local residential species. But anyway, to hone in on training birds for free flight, the Lovebirds fit the bill perfectly. Bold little birds especially those handfed ones and not easily spooked for their size - not to mention that it won't burn a big hole in the pocket ;-).
I still prefer the songbirds though. This hookbill is adopted for a purpose ;-) Collected today (4th Dec) while I was on my way to MAHA 2010 (that will be another story).

My son has named it "Play", for obvious reasons. It is good for him to get accustomed to handling birds at a young age. Good for me hahaha!
Anyway, I believe it could be flown outdoor when a reliable recall can be achieved. How to achieve that is still unknown to me :-D


The face of joy ;-)


Play's wing has been clipped. I plan to let it grow so that its flight could be better controlled and stronger. But it comes with a lot of danger, I realised - from a lot of common items like the aquarium, larger birds (hill myna), stove, oil lamp, cats, fan, toilet etc etc.....
ooooo......! maybe I won't let it fly after all ;-)


Well....... let's see how it goes......

Friday, December 3, 2010

Mystery carcass

I have been taught to look at things as signs. Things always appear to tell us something.... or so I was told. Anyway, I have never been good at deciphering anything hahaha!
So, it is a mystery when a leftover carcass of a bird was found in my garden today. Immediate thought was that a cat must have devoured one of my birds and left an unfinished wing as a token of appreciation :-/

But after checking that all the birds are still intact in their cages, I must wonder what it all means. that a Sparrowhawk caught a prey and devoured it on my rooftop and drop the balance? That a cat caught a wild bird and again left the balance on the grass? hmmmm....... all possible explanation but isn't it easier to get one of my birds that are placed low on the ground? Aren't those fat Zebra Doves hanging on the patio juicier for the Sparrowhawk than the scrawny little birds flying free in the garden?

Hmmm.....! questions, questions, questions, which I will probably never get the answers. Next project must be to get a huge crystal ball for me to gaze at. Must be an omen......


Too big to belong to a sparrow...... too yucky to investigate further...... maybe a bulbul

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Breeding Shamas in bamboo cages

The most common complains regarding bird breeding is the lack of space. It affects me too. So I have finally decided to pair Zeus off with a tame female I have. The female goes into the cage first with Zeus nearby. When the time is right, Zeus would be introduced into the cage and hopefully they don't kill each other.






Well, this won't be the first time it has been done. I have heard of successes before. Just want to experience it ;-)

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Sunday, November 14, 2010

Kucing Puaka - an update

For the righteous out there, the devilish cat is still alive. I have since accepted the fact that cats are also in the "food chain" scheme of things andhave since stop trying to kill it. In another time and place, maybe we could have been good friends (the cat & me la). But for now, if he keep his distance & only limit his raids to the dog food, there shall be peace ;-)




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Raptor Watch

With a new toy in hand, off I went on a raptor watch. These migrants have been arriving on our shores since 2 months ago. Just wanted to see what they were doing inland. Location - Kuala Pilah.




Didn't see any raptors at the selected site, though some were spotted along my way to Bahau.
Saw 2 interesting Woodpeckers and heard an interesting song of an unknown bird.

Location:




Saw a very nice 8" Shama (dark feet) - maybe when I get some recording gears in place, I will try to archive songs of the wild Shamas for my library ;-)
Meanwhile.... just observing birds in the wild seems to be quite fun.

Next stop - "Bukit Lang" (can't confirm whether its a real name or local given name) in Merlimau.

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Gecko

Interesting little lizards. Seems like they are in demand at the moment.
Will try to get one or two to see what the fuss is all about :-D


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Sunday, November 7, 2010

J.B. Competition

It was a last minute decision. I actually wanted to go to Muar on Sunday just for a "chai" session but was informed that the guys would be away to J.B. for a competition. After thinking long and har (like a minute ;-)), I decided to head towards J.B. too.



Well, at least I confirm a few things. Don't go unprepared (hahaha! didn't get any prizes but I think I shall start training my Shamas beginning next Sunday before I dump them in the midst of fierce and angry birds :-\

Judging from attendance, Jambuls still take the top spot in popularity......






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Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Local lizards

I think bird keepers usually with time become more in tune with nature compared with other pet keepers. For one, they usually try their hands in bird trapping out of curiosity. And to successfully do that, you have to know where to look, what bait to.use etc.

A friend has migrated to trapping the local "chameleon", a very fast lizard. Another has gone into Gecko hunting. Could it be due to the vacuum left by the "Lizard King". Hope not hehehe!....

Gecko prices appears to be going by the weight 100g++, 200g++, 300g++ sigh!


The local "chameleons"....






I shall take it as a duty to find out the real name of the specie....

Update: identified as the Changeable lizard (calotes versicolor) by an expert ;-)

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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Finding Nemo, the sequel

My son has this preoccupation with Clown Fish. So went out with him on a trip to KL. With food supplies in the car, a bottle of milk & extra change if clothing, we left home at 10.30a.m. after I fed all the birds.

After catching up with a couple of friends over lunch, we went to Sg. Buluh to a wholesaler of fishes (another bird kaki showed me the way). After becoming RM100 poorer, we came home with 3 clown fish, 1 unidentified fish (he calls it air-bag), 1 anemone and 1 puffer fish.

Whew! that should keep him happy for some time. So, the collection of Clown Fishes now are 7 consisting of 3 species....
Hmmm.... this is getting interesting ;-)

Plus learned today there is a pair of Akita for sale in Penang. Maybe.... just maybe :-D







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Friday, October 22, 2010

Disappointing performance

Passed this RJF to a friend but he says that it can't be used as when the wild chicken came out, it just cluck like a hen in fear.

Sigh! now must decide where to release him. No place to put him. Unless I sacrifice a chicken coup I have been reserving for a special bird yet to be acquired ;-)


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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Fish Food Mash

Found a nice Clown Fish. Found 4 actually....


Then expanding options in feeding them, I found the commercial marine fish food mash. At a quoted 38%-40% protein contents, the amount of fish meal they used must be substantial.

Bought 200g @ RM1 ;-)



Mixed into a small dough, it was well taken to by the fishes.



Then started another 2 feet marine tank to house the Clown Fishes. Today is the 2nd day that the water is being cycled. Still too soon, but a 5 year old has only so much patience. Have to transfer the fishes tomorrow.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Song of the Straw-headed Bulbul



It is hard not to be moved to at least try to breed these fast disappearing birds....
....on their own, they don't stand a chance. Not with the price on their heads :-(

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Keeping the White-rumped Shama

It has often been recommended that a new White-rumped Shama should be kept in a fully covered cage. And to tame it, the cage will then be gradually opened, bit by bit. SOme even recommended that it be hung in a placed with lots of human activities. End point is to get the bird used to humans and to tame it.
Is there an alternative? What if the cloth was never removed. Would the Shama still tame down and rise in form? One such Shama was subjected to such treatment. Totally covered with only an opening in the zipper to provide better ventilation and a peek at the outside world (although through the cloth, shadows of the outside world is still visible). The only time the cloth was removed was during bathing. Well, I have always been an advocator of one odd case is not of statistical importance, but just to note for future reference....
Time to "jadi" appears much shorter. Once "jadi" fear of humans greatly diminished although it still retains certain wild streaks.
Time to test this fella out in the "chai" place. Unfortunately the closest place appears to be in Muar where only of handful are present. This Sunday? sigh.... got sporting appointment :-( too many things to do, too little time....

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Song of the White-rumped Shama Pt.3 of 79

Reading the white papers on this website, ok! ok!, I will go with the parabolic microphone.

http://www.telinga.com/

Now, where to find a local supplier?

Continuing this thought about communications among birds....
I am much influenced by early Buddhist thoughts. Among the traditions that I admired most is the Dhutanga practice of the forest monks. Among them, one that stands out among them is Phra Ajaan Mun Bhuridatta (1840 - 1949). Well, this is not going to turn into a religious thing, but reading about him first shed light into communications among animals. I mean, I suspected it all along, but he just gave me the confirmation or rather confidence in that direction. That animals do communicate in their own limited capacity.
I am not about to suggest that we could learn the language of animals, but understanding the mental and physical conditions of a bird by its song seems an achievable target. How? thats why this is going to be 79 parts long hahaha!

Plan B

Woke up this morning and decided that Plan B need to be executed. What is Plan B?
Plan B = relocation and reduction in stock.
Sigh! no sing also headache, sing also headache :-D

So, some of the noisy buggers and at least 2 pairs will be located above a watering hole (Pub lah!) Leave 3 singers at home. Return some birds on loan from friends. Auction off the Mata Puteh. Give away the Sooty-headed..... ah! that will accord some peace to the neighbours.

Not that they are complaining. But taking cue from Uncle Sam, its called "pre-emptive" hahaha!

Incidently, the related authorities has replied favourably to my breeding plans. Now, to get invited for drafting of the guidelines muahahaha!
I did provide them link to my blog which they may or may not read. Well, hopefully I don't end up in the court of law trying to prove that I am harmless. Hopefully they realise that working together with hobbyists are the way forward ;-)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Red Jungle Fowl

It has been a while since I keep the Jungle Fowl. So when a friend decides to look for one, I took him around hunting for a bargain.
Seems like prices is a little on the high side. Nevertheless, determined not to return empty handed, he took one RM60.

Then received an MMS from a friend in Kuala Pilah. A nice red specimen. Caught 1 chicken before. Hmmm.... don't mind keeping these magnificent chickens again ;-)

Maybe I will just take the red one :-D


- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Monday, October 4, 2010

Cost of bird feed

I have never kept track of bird feed prices thus far. Maybe about time I do so....

Chicken feed (small) - RM2.10/kg
Chicken feed (large) - RM2.00/kg
Millet (green) - RM3.00/kg
Millet (white) - RM2.10/kg

.... and see how over the years, it would escalate ;-)






- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Home made enzyme

Will switch from....





to ....





A home made fruit enzyme made by a friend. Myself too lazy to make. Like Confusion says - "why make yourself, things others can make for you" hahaha!

The above enzyme, was made with 100% pineapple.

The formula has been discussed extensively in the Malaysia Bird Forum....

- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Biawak

A friend struggling to release a water monitor lizard (Varanus salvator), 2nd largest lizard in the world. A delicacy in some parts of the world. A pest to some bird trappers. This fella survived to harass for another day ;-)




- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Monday, September 27, 2010

Song of the White-rumped Shama Pt.2 of 79

When discussing songs of the White-rumped Shama, maybe we should separate its song from the other sounds that it makes.... sub-song, clicking sound etc. which undoubtedly may also be a form of communication, but not its true song as it is known, which is delivered deliberately and with force. Seperate its spectacular display from its song, even though I believe its an important part of the song communication. By sound alone, a lesser Shama can be cowed into submission and stressed out sometimes to the extent of entering into a depressed state and a stress molt.

The fact that a Shama mimics sounds from its environment may be proof that the actual sound matters less but the way it is presented and strung together could be more important. Of course I am no authority on this but for now, if I were to study it, I would try to isolate the way it is presented to find a co-relation. Now, to reach statistical significance, where the hell can I find another 42 Shama licenses??? :-D

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Luxury in the middle of nowhere

Bought a chair from a shop selling camping equipments recently. Took it out for a test run today.
A bit of "kiasu" according to my friend hahaha! he don't know yet I am planning to get a portable shower system ;-)

Somewhere in Serom, Johor...... testing the Spotted Dove, making contact with trappers & fellow hobbyists......



- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Song of the White-rumped Shama Pt.1 of 79

It has been discussed before, the song of the White-rumped Shama. But here goes my thoughts......
Why do they sing? Whether its to protect its territory, finding a mate, warning of danger, I think it all bores down to simple communication. That is the summary of its purpose (in my distorted opinion).

To the human ears, we may be marvelling at its repertoire, loudness, melody etc according to our limited hearing capability, which scientists have concluded that it is very limited indeed when compared to animals. There are spectrum of frequencies that are just beyond the human ears. Now, taking the example of the male Shama singing to attract a female. Just by voice alone (maybe not), the female would judge the suitability of the male as a potential mate. Meaning that the song of the male Shama has to communicate the vigor, health and genetic suitability as a potential mate.

In defending his territory with songs, it too must communicate the message "don't play-play or I will kick your butt". So, potentially there is more to the song that meets the human ears, I should think. Very often, a male Shama in defending its territory, does not need to resort to physical violence. The lesser male will know its place and move away. As can be attested by many Shama keepers who claimed that their Shama "jammed" after being exposed to a fierce Shama. Or a particular Shama that has a tendency to "jammed" another that is placed near it.

Decades ago, it would have been the sole territory and capability of scientists to study and dwelve into this area. With the availability of many cheap gadgets and modern computers, such studies can be placed in the hands of hobbyists.

So, did anybody do a study on vocal quality of the perfect Shama? probably yes, but I do not know. It would interest me greatly. Then it would be a great way to selectively breed for good vocals (audible or non audible) - the ones that will attract hordes of females and keep other males miles away...... trembling in fear ;-)
Yes, to know the type of vocals that communicate strength and vigor would be very helpful......

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wild Zebra Doves

The Zebra Dove is one funny bird with a price range of between RM1 to RM100,000 depending on it's voice. Thought I start with the lowest end specimens. 2 handfed babies at RM0.... hehehe! taken from nest by a friend. Hand fed on Kaytee formula for baby parrots.

After a week, decided to send to a friend to feed as it's taking too much time & effort. And recently took them home as they have been fully weaned. Will give away the female to a friend who is interested in keeping it and keep the male to be trained as a "pikat" fir the fun factor.

Comes from wild parents with good voice, I was told ;-)

Here they are...... kept in a multi storey cage ;-)







- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Monday, September 13, 2010

Female Oriental Magpie Robin




Added two female Oriental Magpie Robin to my collection. For the fun of it, I will try to cross my Black-bellied Magpie with them. That is if I can find the extra space ;-)
May be a waste of time, but isn't it what hobbies are all about?

The Black-bellied is endowed with a bigger body, a desirable trait for most Magpie keepers in my neighbourhood.

- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Friday, September 10, 2010

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Training the Spotted Dove

Yesterday was the rare occasion that I manage to squeeze in time to train a friend's Spotted Dove. It has been with me for moons now & this is the second time I took him on an outing. 2 other Spotted Dove trapper was with me. Catching up with them on what is happening in their circle of members & manage to test out my new foldable chair from Coleman. Next to include in the accessories is a cooler box to chill some beer ;-)





foot note: the Spotted Dove is a popularly kept bird in this region. There are two types being kept. One for its song for competition purposes. Another for purposes of catching the wild birds. The wild Spotted Dove is of no value in song competitions. They are kept for home listening purposes and to be trained as a "pikat"- lure to catch the wild birds.
To the undiscerning, their voice sounds similar, but to an aficionado, there are many varieties of call.
Training as a "pikat" simply entails getting the bird used to travelling, pitched on the ground or a trap cage depending on preference. The bird should sing almost immediately to call for the wild birds in the area and change its tempo & calling tones as the wild bird approaches. Finally , luring the wild birds for a one on one fight on the ground which is booby trapped with tiny lassos ;-)
...... I can't resist telling this.... the hardcore trappers of such birds could be out in the jungle/field from morning till dusk at every available opportunity. From stories, they were likely the ones who find bodies of murdered victims dumped in jungles, second only to the local workers in the area :-D
The wild caught Spotted Dove are worthless monetarily, selling them would often not enough to even cover the fuel cost of travelling (unless you use mist net to mass harvest). But its in the fun and joy of trapping them that hobbyists are addicted to. Addicted in the real sense of the word ;-)


- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -

Tiong Bodoh?

I enjoy a challenge or two one in a while. Today, it's to find out what specie of Myna is seen in a shop below ;-)







If I were to make a prediction, they can be taught to talk base on their low base rumbling vocal. Sounds like they are mumbling to each other.

Less active in the bird forum nowadays. Focusing on off forum bird matters like bird watching - in the shop that is hahaha!

- Time you enjoy wasting wasn't wasted -