Sunday, December 23, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Valley of pigeons, Cappadocia

Interesting place to view birds. Saw a few Hawks (might be Northern Goshawk), a large sparrowhawk (compared to Japanese Sparrowhawk), many Magpies, and in the picture fluffed up sparrows and pigeons which villagers keep for its droppings to use as fertiliser.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Back safely in his cage

I do not know the correct English term for the "terap", "getah" or "gam" I use. It is made from the latex of a tree locally known as "Terap". Properly conditioned, it does not harm the bird nor does it damage its feathers. Mine wasn't as well made as it should. Nonetheless, it does its job with minimal damage to the Shama's feathers.

Above is a photo shot of it moments after recapture. That is how it should work.
The bird is a first molt Shama purportedly from Pulau Rimau. Forgot to measure its tail, but look at the most, 6".

Trapping an escaped Shama

Was having breakfast with my kids today when I got a call from my mom....
a bird has escaped from the green cage.... gosh! that is a friend's bird.
Well, I had lost a few birds when they escaped, usually when I am not home. The crucial thing to protect them from is the cats and other fierce wild birds (i.e. crows and magpie robins). If things are peaceful, they usually make their way home.

So, hurrying up the kids through their breakfast, I made it home & realised it wasn't the bird from the green aviary, but the metal green cage. Its a relief, I don't mind that much losing my own birds, but other people's bird is always a burden :(
Finally spotted it on a Mata Kuching tree and devised a simple contraption with sticky latex that I usually have handy at home.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

I remembered this fish as a popular fad some time ago. In fact I was guilty of keeping one too.
Saw this specimen & bought it for RM50.... a while back, this may have cost hundreds of RM.
This will probably be the most interactive fish you can keep, responding to hand movement and food :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Forgot how fast they grow.... been 12 years ago since I had a puppy in the house. And the puppy I had 12 years ago is now being bullied by this new puppy.... aiya! "no big no small"
Sigh! a dilema.... when we want a game & athletic dog, it comes with associated problems ;)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Philippine import

An import from Philippine, mistaken to be a female in its younger days ;)

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Conducive place to incubate ideas

Imagine a scene from an old kung fu movie.... hero gets bashed up, nowhere to run.... ends up seeking shelter in an old abandoned temple ;)

That is where I will be in a short time. Well, maybe the temple is not old enough, but abandoned, it definitely is. And seeking shelter, I most definitely will. And from there, hopefully some kind sifu will take pity on me and teach me some kung fu to fight back what life will throw at me. Or maybe I find a lost scroll hidden somewhere & I teach myself some kung fu hehehe! interesting thoughts!

Well, coming from an interesting person, I expect nothing less......  :D

Friday, November 2, 2012

Crafted Merbok Trap

Saw this being crafted in a bird shop on Jalan Durian Daun, Melaka.

Haven't seen a better specimen yet....

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Year End Pairing

Hoping for a clutch before the year ends....

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bathing Cage

Saw this Shama bathing cage in a shop.... looks perfect and lasting. Made with thick galvanised metal. Must order one. Only drawback is the height of the door is a little higher vs our standard cages.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Hot and Cold of food

Often, food that we give to our avian pets are classified as hot or cold. Like... grasshoppers are hot, crickets are cold, mealworms are hot, cucumbers are cold.... and apples I have been told are hot by some who believe them as cold and some says hot. Now, why all these confusion?

My thoughts are.... its a very Asian thing.

In ancient Chinese science, all things are explained with the five elements. They are wood, fire, earth, metal and water. The elemental theory is also used in traditional medicines. When you visit a traditional Chinese doctor, most will feel your pulse at the wrist with 3 fingers. Oddly unlike Western doctors who ask you the symptoms, these traditional practitioners will instead tell you your symptoms. And their diagnostic skills are base on these elemental theories. And it is all about balance... e.g. wood produces fire, fire produces earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water and to finish the loop, water produces wood. In a perfect world, all these elements will be in balance, therefore the world will be in harmony and the body will be in perfect health.

So, it must be difficult to explain to their patients that these traditional healers simplified their explanation by telling them that they are "hot" or "cold". And such herbs are "hot" to address their "cold" problem and another herbs "cold" to counter their "hot" disorders. Over time, such classifications become standards in food classifications. We are talking about centuries of conditioning.... so it is not difficult to understand how ingrained it has been in Asian cultures.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Etta the guard

Ear cropped.... to look the part of an alert guard ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, September 28, 2012

Red Palm Oil

Couldn't find the orange coloured type of red palm oil locally. This has to do.... To be added into my dog's diet and some for the birds too. Much has been written about the goodness of Red Palm Oil, a simple search over the internet would yield abundant reading materials ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pied Shama

A male chick from a pair of pied parents. Coloration looks normal. Expecting some markings to appear after molting. Otherwise, theories have to be revised :D

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, September 23, 2012

A nice visual of our world


To keep cats, rodents & thieves away..... a pied guard dog ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Wednesday, September 12, 2012


One of my Shamas on loan from a friend molted and shedded the primary tail feathers yesterday before I managed to take a photo....

Very important specimen earmarked for corrective behaviour ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Useful craftman to know.... on the right, a replica carved with a saw blade.

posted from Bloggeroid

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Selamat Hari Raya

Others Raya, my household also "sibuk" want to Raya :) Looks like I will have ketupat & rendang tomorrow....

Selamat Hari Raya to my Muslim friends.....
An opportunity also for me to seek forgiveness for any offence, consciously made or otherwise....

Happy holidays to all....

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, August 17, 2012

Chicks from the pied parents - 2nd clutch

Photos taken today after I got positive news on the progress made in dialogues with the Wildlife Department. It appears they will be supportive of our breeding efforts.
That inspires me to take the trouble to disturb the parents for another glimpse of the chicks ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Leg bands

The leg rings.... 13 units left. Hoping to run out of stock before the end of the year hahaha!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Close banding

Took out 4 chicks for close banding. This time I used the correct size for Shamas. Correct meaning that it won't be too large as to get a toe entangled in the ring in the future. Donated by a good friend, Jeffrey Low, so they are banded as JL86, JL87, JL88, JL89.
Removed the parent birds as well and that will be all from this pair for the year.

Now the focus shifts to another pair I am breeding from.... also 4 chicks in the nest. The pied pair, a very interesting pair for me to observe....

posted from Bloggeroid

Shama chicks - 2 days old

Life is uncertain..... who among us will make it to adulthood? who among us will make Shama Wizards proud?

posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Coffee break

Ah!.... nothing beats a good break with good coffee and light snack after a wild goose chase looking for avian specimens.
Was at Nan Yang coffee shop, Segamat. 2nd best coffee in the country ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Old video

An old video of a Shama.
Grandfather to the chicks I bred this year ;)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Old containers....

Herein begins an episode in fish keeping.... feeder fish that is. At least it is more aesthetically looking than my current glass tank....

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Mother and children

3 chicks fledged 17th July 2012.... at this stage if I removed them, it would be very difficult to hand feed as they do not recognise humans as friends. The parents have to carry on raising them until further notice ;)

Mother and child

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, July 13, 2012

More on the Pied Shama pairing

The male....

The female....

The sole surviving chick....

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, July 12, 2012

4th clutch of chicks

Clutch no.4 - will be an experiment in mortality. I already roughly know survival rate for handfed chicks. What if the parents go all the way..... would be interesting to observe.

Photo taken 11th July 2012, 6p.m.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pied Shama Chick

I am no photographer.... taking pictures of birds behind bars/wires/bamboo sticks always turns out badly. Usually I set the resolution ton the highest setting and just point and shoot and heavily crop the photos later. So, the end result is, I could never actually get a decent look at most of my subjects.

But this chick is of some interest as it is born out of a pair of Shamas with white patches on their feather. It fledged roughly one or two days ago. The sole survivor out of two chicks in the clutch. I am hoping it would turn out as its parents or even with better colourations.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Training a corvid

Progress is good..... pretty much learned to stay away from my other birds (occassionally it forgets). Fly to fist response although could be improved, was successfully executed this a.m. Now need to work on response time ;)

Fly to shoulder was pretty much a natural response and I strongly suspect it is a looking for food activity. Now, the next thing is, how long will it last out in the open.... before

1) fall prey to other predators
2) flies away with a mate
3) caught by another human
4) attacked by wild crows

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Tokay Gecko "jadi"

It has been a long wait. Finally my Tokay Gecko "jadi"..... if the same term can be applied to reptiles as to birds ;)
Very loud "kay koh" "kay koh"..... Quite fun even though it is quite startling to hear it in the middle of the night.

The only time I heard one of them is when it escaped and was calling from somewhere for nearly a week until I caught it back. Then it went silent again untill today......

posted from Bloggeroid

Friday, June 29, 2012

Of Chickens and such....

Ok... Opinions are divided about the sex of this chicken.... the friend who gave it to me said its a hen, another 2 friends says its a cock. I as usual do not have an opinion ;)

Its a specie of game fowl from Philippine. Thought I would like to cross it with the Siamese varieties and see what turns up. Meat for the table probably hahaha!

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Red Jungle Fowl.... a change in plan

I called a friend yesterday to ask him to look out for Red Jungle Fowl eggs when he goes wandering in the jungle as he most often likes to do. There is a change of heart in the policy makers in the country. Licenses for the keeping Red Jungle Fowl may be issued, together with hunting licenses other than using a gun for them. What it means is, if we are willing to pay, we can keep them and catch the wild ones using other methods (other than the traditional guns). It means that interest level in these chicken will soar. It also means that I could venture to safeguard pure lines of the Red Jungle Fowl.

According to some, there may not be any pure ones out there. Some disagree. I think there might be a chance too. Pheasant like features. Anyway, the new law is still pending approval. But finding good specimens takes time and is not as straight forward as going out to purchase one. Couple with the fact that a wild Jungle Fowl is known to bolt for the jungle even when raised together from hatchlings together with kampung chickens. So, I will look for eggs as a better bet and hope to accumulate enough to start a breeding program of sorts. Anyway I have a little experience raising pure looking RJF which may come in handy one of these days. And my network of chicken trappers are second only to Shama trappers hahaha! ;)

This will be fun......

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Bathing a crow....

Trying to make it a ritual, shower under the hot scorching sun. The other birds don't think its funny..... but from experience, they will soon learn that it is harmless ;)

The intelligence of the crow can sometimes be frightening. Which makes them a pest in a lot of places. Hard to believe that there are certain species of crows that are endangered. Would like to collect a few more species if space permits ;)

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Citra, the hybrid Jambul

Kept this fella out of curiosity. A 2nd generation hybrid of Jambul with Yellow-vented Bulbul. Appears to be singing longer notes than when I took it some time back....
posted from Bloggeroid

Pied Shama pair

The female white spotted Shama incubating. Probably need to get a weather proof cctv installed before I can get any useful visuals.

posted from Bloggeroid

Monday, June 18, 2012

Keeping the "Wau" tradition alive

Yeah! On a more positive note, a couple of friends decided they have nothing better to do and wanted to give the modern kite fliers a run for their money, so out came 2 brand new Wau Burung (Wau means kite - a term commonly used in Eastern coast of Malaysia where this tradition is alive & popular) and a 10 year old Wau Bulan.....

posted from Bloggeroid

3rd Clutch - Casualty

Always sad to see a casualty.
One chick was dead and thrown out from nest. Something could be wrong.... is it the diet?

Anyway, I removed all 3 remaining chicks to be handfed. Looking at them, they would probably survive.

The dead chick:

The remaining chicks:

Things are not always positive..... but I have to count my blessings. 13 chicks so far.
8 from my long tailed pair and 5 from a short tailed pair.

posted from Bloggeroid