Monday, February 28, 2011

Monkey Palm

Trying out the Monkey Palm as an aviary plant. Chosen for its hardiness & ability to thrive with little amount of sunlight. Downside is its lack of branches for the birds. Anyway, not an issue.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Learning to bend the bamboo

I have always depended on others to do for me minor & major repairs to cages & things related. So, when I was given 3 old cages in different stages of wear & tear, I thought I try some D.I.Y.

Been hearing a lot of tips on bending bamboo, so I decided try with hot water instead of fire. Success on the first attempt. The way I see it, it is much easier, plus the water is good to soften the bamboo and moisturise it at the same time.

I won't paint the cages just yet. Too much work. Prefers the lazy man's look - raw.... ;-)

The Dove that came home

About a week ago, I was playing with a handfed Zebra Dove outdoor (wirh its wing clipped). When he decided enough was enough and took off.
Well, I wouldn't mind actually if not for the clipped wing. Thought he was surely a gonner as the neighbourhood is teeming with cats and I have spotted a couple of Sparrowhawks on separate occassions.

Two days ago, I noticed a dove feeding around my Java Sparrow aviary. Thought it was a wild dove as they are very common garden birds. And there were no string tied to its leg. Must have lost it somehow. I recignised it when it tried to fly off - its wing has been clipped.

Caught it back and will keep it until it complete another molt. Maybe will release it after that. Appears to be a survivor. With a full set of flight feathers, he would stand a better chance ;-)

Just glad that he is back....

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Perches for Aviaries

I do not know the name of these trees. In bird shops around K.L. branches from these trees are seen being offered for sale. So, must be good eh? Base on such simplistic logic, I went off tracking in the jungle and came up with this pile in 2 hours time. Can't say its simple, can't say its too difficult either. Well I have my guide :-D

Anyway, most of my cages uses these branches, so its a natural progression to use it too for the aviaries. And I gave the twisted twines a miss this round.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New indoor Shama aviary

Finally, putting finishing touches to my new aviary for breeding Shamas. Hopefully I can build 4 such contraptions in the soonest time to take advantage of the natural breeding cycle of Shamas.... although Shamas in captivity has been known to breed out of season, so not too bad if a delay becomes inevitable.

There is one fierce 9" bird belonging to a friend that I am interested in breeding from.... besides Apollo X.

This 9" bird maintained its top form throughout captivity until currently where it is molting. I am looking for such birds. Heard of them being mentioned before, but haven't encountered one yet. Fierce Shamas that maintained their form throughout captivity and looks more like seasoned birds rather than wild caught specimens. Isn't that a good trait to foster in captive breeding ;-)

Monday, February 14, 2011

Chai Hwamei

Inaugural Hwamei "chai" session in Melaka. In attendance - 11 Hwameis belonging to 5 hobbyists.

I sold off one of mine that morning. Getting too noisy ;-)
Next step is getting the owners to declare all their birds.

Its a peaceful hobby, hope the government doesn't spring more surprises. Making it illegal to own raciks and keep hybrids (Red Jungle Fowl cross comes to mind) is already creating much anger among people I know.

Anyway, back to more pleasant topic - I thinks Hwameis are best listened to in open natural places. They sound more pleasant (at least to me) in such environment....

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Straw-headed Bulbul

Just realised that the Straw-headed Bulbuls make good aviary birds. Not only do they look happier & more comfortable, the male becomes aggressive and flies to the front of the aviary every time I come near. And burst into loud songs when I move away. One heck of a way to get them to sing :-D


Borrowed a Miter Saw from a friend to start building aviaries. Coupled with drills, stapler etc. Work becomes easy and accurate. Sometimes its using the right equipment that makes things easier. I tried using minimal hand tools to make grasshopper cages once and it took me quite a while to complete & they didn't turn out nice :-(

Friday, February 11, 2011

Stingray & Luo Han

Before the Chinese New Year, my mom wants a Hua Luo Han (Flower Horn) after watching a documentary on the Chinese channel. Well, I do not fancy such fish but ended up keeping one anyway.

Today, I added a stingray to the tank after being pestered by my son. My fault actually, shouldn't have told him about fresh water stingrays. Anyway the initial plan was to visit a breeder in KL to get a pair. But he doesn't have ready stock of the smaller sized ones. So, to avoid disappointment, I called up a local fish shop and ordered one. Didn't get to choose, and was sent a male Mottoro. Just fine with me ;-)
Another happy person in the family....

Friday, February 4, 2011

Ayam Serama

The Serama Chicken (Ayam Serama) was once very popular in Malaysia. I remember vendors were even selling them by the road side. Sometimes, I was told that unscrupulous vendors were passing off Ayam Katek's chicks as Serama.

Bought 40 of these chickens recently & seeing whether I can make a few bucks out of them to fund my bird breeding projects.

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Moving the birds

Due to technical problems, I couldn't relocate my birds prior to Chinese New Year. However, since the Straw-headed Bulbul is showing signs of making nest, I removed my molting pair of Shama to make room for the Bulbuls today.

Sigh! found an egg in the nest. Well, I didn't think that they would be nesting during their molt. So, let me put on record that Shamas do nest during molt. Much like what I learned about Peregrine Falcons - that they molt and breed at the same time.

Too late, I will just incubate this egg and handfeed it if proven fertile. Meanwhile, the Straw-headed is in their new aviary. Very difficult to get the male to cross from their existing cage into the aviary. When he finally crossed over, it is nightfall already.

The Straw-headed Bulbul has made it into the totally protected list in the new Wildlife Conservation Act 2010. Hopefully, the authorities understand what I am trying to do and grant me breeding license. Even if it is to breed & release, it is a worthwhile cause.

Understanding of imprinting is crucial for captive bred birds meant for release.

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Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Happy New Year!!!

Wishing all a very Happy & Prosperous New Year!
May you & your family be blessed with good fortune, happiness & good health!

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New Hwamei - addition to the flock

On 30th Jan, decided to add 4 more Hwameis to the existing flock of 2. It has been 13 months since I got my 1st Hwamei. So, a little curious on how it has turn out to be, I decided to fully uncloth him for the first time after a bath.

Appears to be stable as long as I don't handle the cage......

Will monitor his progress...... and upload videos of the new birds when the mood is there ;-)

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When trying to create an artificial lawn, Astroturf seems to be the material of choice. Bought a meter some time back & now figured out a use for it ;-)

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