Tuesday, April 26, 2011

White-crowned Shama

One of those unplanned thing. Didn't plan to add a White crowned shama to my stock, what with the change in status of this bird from not protected to TP (totally protected).

Looks like another trip to the wildlife department is needed. So much for trying to keep a lower profile. I am sure I am beginning to look more like a trader than an ordinary hobbyist.... sigh! have to fortify my home for an impending raid hahaha!

Anyway, this WCS is a tame little fella & in a heavy molt. I will see if I can quickly assemble an aviary for it to molt in. One that measures 5ft long X 4ft wide X 5ft high which I have already prepared the frame for.

Copsychus stricklandii

Updated photo May 2011

Black-tailed Shama

A subspecies of the White-rumped Shama.... this is another one of those unplanned acquisition. Just because it's there hahaha!

Anyway, no regret.... tame little fella. Hoping it would sing soon so that I could evaluate it's song. Was told, this specie normally has short to very short tail. Would be good if I can find a female ;-)
Must keep the subspecies pure.... for future reference hehehe!

Copsychus malabaricus melanurus

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Book - The Homing Pigeon

It is hopeless to try to get a book on birds other than parrots, parakeets and canaries. Thought I may have better luck in KL through places like Kinokuniya. But sigh! not a book in sight on pigeons, let alone specifically on homing pigeons. Even their computer search draws a blank.

So, online I went and bought my first book online. Took me close to 2 months to get it as it is out of print. I can see my printing date is 30th March 2011. That is still hot out of the printers ;-)

Will be adding more titles to the library. Just testing out these online shopping thingy. Books are a good way to feed the mind ;-)

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Addition of the featherless kind

Collected some nice cold blooded specimens today. Will keep the Elongated Tortoise, River Turtle & Red-footed Tortoise.

My son seems to like them and he drew me a picture :-D

Anyway, I know next to nothing about keeping turtles & tortoises. Will temporarily keep them in aquarium, tub & garden while I sort out the best housing arrangement for them ;-)

Elongated tortoise

Yellow spotted river turtle

Red-footed tortoise

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Laughing Doves

Found a breeder of Laughing Doves. Should be interesting. Ordered a pair of babies. Should be weaned in a couple of weeks.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Too Many Things To Do, Too Little Time

Was thinking of going to see the night Shama competition on Saturday (23rd April in Aingapore), then hop on to Batam but need to go KL and collect a new avian specie (to me that is). An African Crowned Hornbill (Tockus alboterminatus)......

(Pic from Wikipedia)

A friend offered to train for me (free flying). But then where got fun.... must D.I.Y. mah! but then.... I always like shortcuts & roads with least resistance :-D

An experiment with audio mastering

I have been putting off this audio mastering thingy from Indonesia for a long time. So, out from the closet it comes (audio CD) and I got myself a China made mini sound system. Set it to blast from 1am to 2am, 3am to 4am, 5am to 6am, 7am to 8am and in the afternoon 3pm to 4pm and 5pm to 6pm.

I think I will cut the afternoon session as the sonar beep is irritating. And reschedule from 12am to 6am in an hourly intermittent. That way, the human residence, will be fast asleep when the sonar beep goes off ;-)

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Training a Lovebird

Let's dedicate another chapter of my bird keeping life to training of birds. After ordering a couple of crows and a hornbill (exchange program ;-)) I thought it better to get started.

So, I spent a little time with the Hill Myna and Lovebird today. Been months since I last handled the Lovebird. It's wing feathers growing nicely. Luckily not too wild. Will get it accustomed to being handled and give clicker training a try ;-)
Now, the challenge is to find a food that is irresistible for it. So far sunflower seeds isn't good enough. Maybe it takes time as I have not fed it with sunflower seeds for months already ;-\

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Aviary Project 2

160 feet of man made stream....

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Oriental Magpie Robin

Ever since I saw an Oriental Magpie Robin on youtube singing with wings opened and acting fiercely, I have always been on the lookout for one.
Couldn't get a decent enough video as I was only equipped with a mobile phone, anyway its wing display wasn't showcased to the max.... but it will have to do.

One of those Magpies with a rare disorder.... human aggression :-D

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hand-raised Barau

Very rare to see a baby Straw-headed Bulbul (Barau-barau) nowadays. A lesser offence if one were to keep an elephant I think hahaha!
Keeping this little fella within ear shot of the adults so that it would grow up learning the wild song typical of such bulbuls.

Looking at the current law, I would probably need to return 4 licenses to the authorities. It may be too expensive to maintain a flock of them.

Should work harder on the Barau sanctuary I envisioned. But first, would like to make a trip to Batam to take a look at 7 babies born this year. Yeah! the Indons have been quite successful breeding these bulbuls. No reason for us to lament and sigh at the reducing number of birds. All it takes is a little effort here and there. The Barau still has hopes ;-)

Breed and release.... then the mandatory RM30k minimum penalty for catching & keeping Baraus without license makes more sense :-D

Friday, April 8, 2011

Aviary Project

Working on a project to turn a few aviaries into a tourist attraction place. I am going way above my head on this. But just hoping to also set up a Straw-headed Bulbul (Barau-barau) sanctuary for non-profit conservation purposes. Wonder whether any of those wildlife trust funds would be interested in funding me ;-). Anyway working as if I have to self fund it from profit of the commercial side. Gotta leave this world thinking I tried to do something useful (shiok sendiri) hahaha! Good for the soul, I was told.

Interestingly it also brings to mind an important question. Can a small bird park be profitable? A few friends seem to think so. I certainly hope so....

This year, a friend of a friend in Batam managed to successfully raise 7 Barau chicks (and still counting) from 4 pairs of wild caught birds. He started his project since 2009. I wish to put on record, the time span of 2 years for the birds to settle down and start breeding (wild caught birds). At least for this case and his setup.

Batam is just a day trip from Malacca. Planning for a weekend visit there soon to view and record his setup. Learning never cease.... it would be a boring life if it does isn't it? ;-)

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Uneven tail length of a Shama

Been trying to see whether with proper care, a Shama's uneven tail will grow evenly. After 3 molts in my hand, I would like to conclude at least for this bird.... it is not possible. Could be a genetic thing. Which means, I would have to leave it out of my gene pool.

Sell? exchange? maybe have to consider after it's molt.

Death of another Shama

Funny thing about all these cat attacks was, after the initial anger, when I analysed it, I could take several course of actions. Easiest was to leave poison laced baits. Over the years, I believe I have found one of the most potent poison around. The cat would probably die while chewing the food itself.

Sigh! .... should I do it just because I can? Initially, yes! that was the single thing in mind throughout most of the day. But then, wasn't it uttered by a wise man before that having power and not using it is a most difficult thing to do? I will choose the difficult path......

My prognosis looking at the crime scene and taking some cues from the C.S.I. tv series hahaha!....
The Shama was probably agitated by the presence of the cat and was probably trying to defend the female (in a cage inside the aviary, thus was actually in no danger). That is the only way a cat could get to the male. As he has the whole aviary to fly in. Why did he fall beside the aviary near the female's cage, it's leg which was found outside the aviary indicates its a neighbours cat. Shows that it is well fed and not actually looking for a meal. Ugly scene, it's nice to think that probably the Shama was killed because he was too fierce. A hero in my heart.

I have cat proofed the whole place using wire mesh.... windows, doors, air vents.... hope it is enough to stop the assault and protect the birds.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Economical Cages

The "force" is just too strong. My fondness for "Thai Style" cage need to be compromised so that I can test out my Jambuls in the local competition scene. But being unwilling to spend too much on cages (stingy lah!), I put off ideas of using the square cages commonly referred to as the "Penang" type cage.... until I found some cheap ones.

Bought 2. Both are unvarnished and it took me 3 days, spending an hour or so each session painting them ;-)
Hmmm.... if it works out fine, may buy another few more so that I could have a row of homogenous cages. Waiting to be filled up with birds :-D