Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Apollo 6 & other baby birds

In a drive to reduce stock, Apollo 6 would soon be adopted by a friend. However, I was cautioned by another friend about my attempts to reduce stock...... it just never happened hahahaha!

Well, this should be the umpteen times I am trying to reduce stock. Hope I am lucky this round.

The below is a baby chick which I have successfully incubated using my crude incubator made of ply wood. It is the first chick out of 2 eggs taken from a tall tree by some villagers. A friend then called me to see whether I want to rescue those eggs. It was a long story which I will continue later when I have the inspiration....

Out of 2 eggs, so far 1 hatched. Hopefully the other will hatch. Then comes the difficult part - to raise them and their eventual release back to the wild. It can be done, has been done but not well documented in this part of the world.

Something exciting is happening soon. Hopefully by March, I can blog about it ;)

Releasing a Merbok

This bird was released to clear up some space. But the following day, I found him on top of one of my Shama cage when I took it down. He was sitting without a care (maybe too weak) and didn't bother even to fly off. I reached out with a hand and caught him without much trouble.

Will try releasing him later, further away from home. From his droppings, he is not actually starving. Must have been eating something out there ;)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Captive Bred Shamas

With an addition of 2 captive bred Shamas, I will have exposure to 4 such specimens to date. This will fare well especially when comes the debate of which is better - captive bred or wild caught. Personally I think it is very much the same unless you can claim a captive bred lineage of at least 3 to 4 generations (that will come closer to the true selective breeding of birds). Anyway, I am easily pleased and does not have very high standards for Shamas ;)

Anyway, the local authorities are very supportive of the breeding project. It is a positive turn of events and hopefully, nothing hapens to shatter the trust.

Wonder what they will think of my next project (still in the planning stage) muahahahaha! (evil laugh)

Male Tai Mong:

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Padang Merbok

Was a bit busy today but a friend called and suggested we meet at the place where they hang Merboks for competition and training. As I was the one who ask him to get me some thick perches, varnished and dried, I had to make time. I arrived quite late about 12 noon and decided to bring along a Merbok (Zebra Dove) and a Tekukur (Spotted Dove) since I am going there. Have decided to stay away from Zebra Doves as I see it as a sport for those with deep pockets ;D
A case of sour grapes? hahahaha!

As I was hoisting my Merbok up the pole, he started singing. It was windy and my dirt cheap RM14 cage was tilted at a 45 degree angle, yet he was cooing his notes. A "C" bird with a .8 sound at best, so not really for serious competition. What amuse me was that its a long time since I bring him out and equally long time since he was put into a small cage. Hmmm not bad on the "rajin" side. Deserves some TLC when we get back ;)
Oh!..... and there were moments when the whole field is quiet except for his cooing sound as it was windy and most cages was swaying to and fro. My friend asked me what steroid I fed the bird :D

Merbok in a RM14 cage:

Incidently, I have a habit of using the cheapest type of cage I can lay my hands on. Last Sunday, my Shama has to compete in a RM50 cage with the bottom held up with wires - otherwise the warped bottom is unsightly.

The perches that I collected (for my 2 Hwamei):

A video of the dove at home:


Found another visitor in my garden. This fella is a different one from the previous posts. I know because the previous one is now in a cage hehehe! Would need to release it later further away as it has a bad habit of sleeping on top of my Mata Puteh cage. This new one suggest that the local colony is probably nearby (my hypothesis), anyway I am not that observant but one day when I find a small flock of about 10 birds visiting my garden, then I could confirm it ;)

Hwamei Pt.2

Added a female Hwamei to my collection. Very likely a female due to lack of mid-tone and she has the characteristic female call. Who knows? 2 years down the line, I may be motivated to breed them ;)

Quite a boring phase at the moment as most of the time, I keep them covered. Singing well and fed a concoction of chicken feed, egg yolk, honey and a commercial peanut base feed (by Mr. John Yim).

Listed under the 2nd schedule of CITES, wonder whether I need to register them in line with the new laws of the land. Time to pay another visit to the Wildlife office.

Male Hwamei:

Female Hwamei:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Re-Home 1 pair Shama

Any Malaysian visitor of my blog interested in a pair of White-rumped Shama can email me at
Free to serious hobbyists only. You would probably need a secure and isolated (from human traffic) aviary to successfully breed this pair. Currently kept together in a 23" cage.

Note (update 17th Jan): Have decided to release the birds in a secondary jungle nearby. One day I will go video and see whether they stick around or not.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Captive Bred Shamas

A friend has some success with breeding of his Shama. Not that it is something new, others have had successes before too but these babies, I am interested in because I have been a little preoccupied with getting the long tail genes into my Shamas. The sire of these chicks is a 10" bird from Langkawi. The hen too is not a bad specimen herself.

Out of a clutch of 3, I took 2, a male and a female. The male, I would keep for my friend to see how it would turn out. The female is for my future breeding.