Monday, November 2, 2009

Singing Finches for Sale

When you have decided to buy birds, it is now the time you made a promise, a swear, a commitment that you have to have time to be given for those birds. It can be couple minutes, hours, or depend to what kind of bird you have, how many birds, what kind of cage, what is the purpose of those birds are for, etc.
Taking care of the birds is different matter than just to feed them. It is a complex matters of caring the birds. Start from the feeding, cleaning the cage, checking their condition, etc. Absolutely, it takes time.
Once you think you can make it, you decide to give some of your time for it, continuously in daily basis. But, as the days goes by, time has changes your daily basis schedule because of so many other things in your life. When that happened, you realize that you may not be able no more to take care your birds again. So you decide to sell your birds or give your birds to another person who can take care of it.
This is what happen to me now. As I have very bussy for doing my job, the birds looks very terrible. Less of attention. So, now I have to decide to sell a lot of them. Some of it were Black Throat Canary/Yellow Rumped Serins, Grey Singing Finch and Yellow Singing Finch. Those three birds used to be a patron birds for my other singing birds before. I feel uncomfortable for this, coz today, it is very difficult to find quality finches birds in here. some may available in the market, but ussualy they are only second grade birds and useless for any purpose, you can not use for the breeding purpose and some time they do not want to sing no more. Too old or too fat. Regretfully I say and still I have to do this.
If you want to take over it, just check these birds and see their pictures in this link:

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bird Food Seller

The picture on above is a common profile picture of bird food seller in Indonesia. Some of them may has smaller scale, and some of them are bigger. They survived along the crisis, as they live from the birds lover demands for feeding the birds. They will always exist as long as the bird lovers are exist. The place usually looks terrible, close like a skid row.

There are so many varies of the item they sell. Some bird foods are can be stored for days, some will be spoilt and out of date within 24 hours and some will stays longer than a month.

As seen in the picture, the two wooden boxes in the front are container for Crickets. One of the important insects used for extra fooding by birds lover. Especially for the exhibition or championship purpose. These crickets can be stored for couple days in the box.

The other important insecta is 'Kroto', the [Big] Ant's Eggs, as its purpose is same as cricket. It can be seen in the picture stored in the shallow and wide wooden box behind the cricket's box, in a higher rack. This ant's eggs is often becoming rare, as the ants habitats also becoming smaller, the trees that fits its ecosystem is getting rare also. This ant's eggs also quick to become spoilt, so this food is prepared in daily basis.

Some birds lovers believe that Grasshopper will relieves the bird's sing ability. So, one or two places provides this bird's food, but usually it is only available during the rainy season.

Worm, Maggots & Helminth. The [soils/ground] worms also available for feeding. Some kind of maggots are ready in stock. This worm & maggots can be stored for weeks, look how they store it in shallow boxes in high stacks.

The most common fruit always available in the bird's food sellers is Banana. Usually only one [white] kind of Banana used for birds food.

Bird food made by factory also available in there. The brands are varies. There is so many factory's product for bird food. You can not remember all of those brands name.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Orange Headed Thrush Sings & Dances

I have made articles about Orange Headed Thrush and posted in here couple months ago. Including severals pictures and 'silent' video capture. Certainly, it was unsatisfied, so I put couple 'very short' videos of Orange Headed Thrush [Punglor Merah]. The video shows the Orange Headed Thrush while in actions, it is singing & dancing, like a drunken bird. But I think it still will not satisfies you based on the video duration, which is very short.

The bird is always singing everyday. From the morning to the evening. Its voice is very loud. The sound is crystal clear. Its dance style is good enough. But the style is not an 'up to date' dance style, as many people today prefer to look for the rapid movement dance style. It is weird to see how people can turns their mind set all the times regarding their mode to the bird exhibition for the time being.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Lizards & Grey Finch's Song

Do you wanna have quality birds? What about this review? Try it and absolutely you'll like it ....

This image is showing the chicks of Lizards Canary, male, being in the 'mastering' proccess. They were placed near the patrons. From left to right: Lizard [2 months old chick], Grey Finch [a year old], Lizard [4 months old]. Actually, the patron was not just the Grey Finch only, I also put a Love Bird, a Weaver, a bar Winged Prinia and a Yellow Rumped Serin/Black Throated Canary for this 'Songs Reproduction Proccess'. The one I made before, last year, took fully a year of period to made the lizards copied the songs. This only applied at pure lizard, as long as I knew. When I tried to make a different song produced by hybrid Lizard [crossed with fancy or local canary], it took 3-4 months only. Once it can sings a little bit louder when it reached 5 months old, it was a fact that it produced quiet good reproduction songs of Yellow Rumped Serins & Prinia.

This first one is a Lizard Canary, Sex: Male, Age: about 2 - 3 months old. It is now starting to sing in low volume, a wind sound like. It has no full yellow cap. Came from pure couple of Gold Lizard parents, the second successful breed. The cock Lizard is 1 year and a half old and the hen is 2 years old. It was funny how it learns how to pick the foods as it has been abandoned since it got 4 weeks old age, as the parent has been taken from it. I realy concern to watch over it learns how to feed itself. If it Could not do it, then it will be die soon.

This is the patron bird, a Grey Singing Finch, used to be called 'Edel Sanger' in Indonesia. It sings loud enough and rapidly, and so very often during the day. Enough for the 'students' to follow its songs. The Grey Finch, for the time being is becoming very rare in Indonesia. The import tap already locked off and the breeders prefers to breed Yellow Rumped Serins rather than this Grey Finch [commercial reasons].

The last image is a Lizard Canary, Male, 4-5 months. Used to sing quarter to half loud as compared to adult sounds. It is the same breed as the other bird in the image on second above. It was the first one. So it came from the same couple Gold Lizard. It has full yellow cap, but the yellow colors on the cap and whole body seems paler than its brother. Duller yellow color. Looks like some influence in fenotype of Silver Lizard.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Lizard Canary

Once I had seen the picture of Lizard Canary, when I bought a book about how to breed canary, in around 1993 or 1995, I'm just falling in love to this bird kind. I thought it was very admirable bird by the feather's color and pattern type, which so unique. Then for couple years later, I found another pictures of this bird.
In 2005, I started buy this bird, in Malang. It was a male one, with a very loud sound when it is singing. I brought this bird to Jakarta, as I have to stay and work by assigment in there for couple years.
When I feel get bored with this bird, I just handed over this bird to the friend of mine in Surabaya, which still doing the breeding of canaries. I thought this bird should stay and had a positive purpose, better than in the hand of the person who just get its songs only for everyday.
It was a quiet right decision, because after he received this bird, he bought several similar birds for breeding the pure lizard strain.
When I think I had now, the time to be spent for the breeding, I just asked him to give a couple of lizard, product of his farm. So I got a couple to start. I choose to start with chicks, so I can make a different sound and song of it when it is grew up later. This couple is becoming the starter birds of my farm for the lizard strain. It is very miserable moment for me, to wait for the sound its creates, as I had put a yellow rumped serins and a prinia close to it everyday for the song's patron. I have to wait for about more than 1 year to hear its loud sounds of the male, and 1 year and a half more for the hen for starting lays its first eggs. Whoa, what a long waiting period. It was more than the average required time for common other local canaries to learn the songs [usually its only takes about 6 months].

I put some images of the birds I breed. You can see an unique breed color mutant in the image, as the hen is a gold lizard [also the cock's], but it produced a chick with little bit close to silver lizard. The chick in the picture is about 25 days old, and it is now about 8 weeks old in this early June 2009. I think it will changes its plumage's color when it grew adult, after its first moulting, first when I realize its different color. I do not know yet, I just wait for that.
For the time being, it is starting to learn how to sing and I put some patron birds for this purpose. A main song will be came from a Grey Finch, a Weaver for scratchy sound and a Prinia for additional twitty sounds. I hope all of the patron's sounds/songs will be coppied permanently then. I just have to wait until a year at least for having see and hear the result of this unique effort.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Kupang Birds Market, Surabaya

The pictures is showing how the Kupang Bird Market, in Surabaya, is looks like. It is not a permanent bird market. The place looks so dirty, not because of the trash, but the non permanent building they made is so bad. Doesn't seems neat. Not well organized. I think someone or the authorized body/government shall look at this side and takes action for making it looks better. This place shall requires a very big improvements.
The picture is taken in early of May 2009. The view is still the same as 20 to 30 years ago, an exception I may noted is only for the number of bird sellers, it is might had been increased or decreased. I am not really sure about that. This conditions also applied to the traded birds kinds. Some kind of traded birds is already banished, such as some imported birds like Hwa Mei or Melodius Laughing Thrush [Leucodioptron Canorum, formerly Garrulax Canorus], Poksay or Black Throated Laughing Thrush [Garrulac Chinensis], Sanma or Grey-Side Laughing Thrush [Garrulax Caerulatus], some Robins, etc. Since 90's, some new bird kinds were exposed and exploited, some is still exist and the others was ended into the blue.
In the picture, we can see the left side is temporary birds market and the right side is the parking area. Formerly, both sides of the road is full with bird sellers since 90's. After 00's, in 2007, the yard on the right side was used to be built a commercials building, it seems a mall I think, so they had to move from there. Today, the building's construction will be finished and I am sure that all the bird sellers will be moved also as soon as the grand opening of the building. The other road, next to this, is also used as the bird market, the original one before. It is will stays there as the 80's era.

In this present day, the bird sellers are not just selling birds, they also sells cages as well as they are selling the birds. Even the number of the cages they are selling for the time being is as much as the birds it self. It was a funny phenomenon. Shall we call it birds market, or now we shall call it bird's cages market? LoL. The cages they sell are only the second or lower grade in quality and price. For sure, you will not be able to find any best quality cages in here. Even the birds they sells, most of the birds available in here is the raw materials, the chicks or the wild caught. For quiet sometimes, if you are patient enough to check it one by one, or takes some time to look around as approaches, in such a fortune way, you may find a good one. A quality bird for exhibition purpose. Only if you will gives an effort.
Bird's food also available in here. The most famous quality bird's food in Kupang bird market were the white type Banana and the Ant's Egg. If in the other bird markets in Surabaya you can not find good Banana, so you must try this place then. The Ant's Egg, it is a must bird food, especially for the carnivora birds, which takes insect as the main food. In this place, the Ant's Eggs are the best in quality. But do not forget the Economy Law, the price goes along the quality.

The last image, it shows some big cages contains munias. The white breast munias and brown streaks breast munias, the common munias in Java origin. These birds usually will be bought by childrens, as some [stupid] bird sellers are using water base colors for coloring them, to make it full of colors and try to make or attract the kids are to be interested to buy. In the end of 90's, some weaver's kinds also sold in here [it is rare now] for the children's market also. As the years passed by, some bird lovers had learnt that the weaver could sing as well as the other singing birds. If the weavers are tamed since they were chick for then they were placed near a patron bird, absolutely they will sing the same song kind when they reach the adult age. It is also increase up the price of the weavers as it is also made the weavers became one of the favourite birds, a collectable.
I have visited this bird market last month and I found some chicks of the Asian Pied Starlings, Orange Headed Thrush and Chesnut-Caped Thrush in there. I bought an Asian Pied Starling at that time, a month old chick with a ring around its leg, as it is made me sure that the bird is a product of a farm and not a wild caught.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Orange Headed Thrush/Punglor Merah

The Orange-headed Thrush is 205–235 milliimetres (8.1–9.25 in) long and weighs 47–60 grammes (1.7–2.1 oz). The adult male of the nominate subspecies of this small thrush has an entirely orange head and underparts, uniformly grey upperparts and wings, and white median and undertail coverts. It has a slate-coloured bill and the legs and feet have brown fronts and pink or yellowish rears. The female resembles the male but has browner or more olive upperparts and wram brown wings, but some old females are almost identical to the male. The juvenile is dull brown with buff streaks on its back, and a rufous tone to the head and face; it has grey wings. The bill is brownish horn, and the legs and feet are brown.
This picture is taken on early of April 2009, showing the newest Orange Headed Thrush I collected. I get it from a bird seller in Splendid Bird Market, Malang, in early of March 2009. Once it came on my residence on a rainy night, the next early morning it just got its name. I named it 'Selat Bali'. It has one white color feather on its left wing, this is not ordinary. In Java, the birds which has white color in their feathers, especially in the outer part of the wings [as usually it occurs on pigeon/dove], they used to be called 'Selat' [Java Language]. In Bahasa Indonesia, selat means 'strait' in English. The 'Bali' name I give is based on information from the previous Owner [who put this bird in the hand of bird's seller], as he said that this bird origin is Bali. So that's why I name it like that.
When you try to collect this bird kind, you have to be more patient. For the example, in the next days after I bought this 'Selat Bali', it is singing very good, in loud sound and various songs. This is hapenned in couple days and then in the fourth day, it is starting get into the moulting period. It starts to be silent. Sounds nothing, at least until about a month, 'till the feathers is complete. Once the feather is complete, it is starting to sing again, but only in the very low sound. I've waited for about couple weeks, it is always like that. This is a normal condition to the bird of this kind. That's why I said that you had to be patient.
I started think that it scared of the other Thrush I had. So, when a friend of mine ask me to borrow one of my Thrush collections, I just lend him one. I gave him the old one. He take it at night. Suddenly, the next morning it [Selat Bali] is starting to sing out loud! Maybe it knows that the superior one has gone.

Another picture I presented in here is the Orange Headed Thrush I had. I bought this bird about a decade ago, since early 1999 when I stayed in Malang, during the period I breed Canaries, Black Throat/Yellow Rumped Serins, Grey Finch and the Mule or Hybrid of the those kinds. Today, year 2009, so it has been over 10 years I kept this bird. First time I took this bird, seems it alreday aged about 2 or 3 years old, so today it is about 13 years old. I have brought this bird through the birds exhibitions and championships over 3 years, at least. I put name for this bird as 'Gerhana' to be written on the certificates everytime it won the exhibition.

It could sings various songs. Its origin songs, duplicate songs and other weird strange songs. It is also a good bird who dare to sing at anytime, anywhere and at anyplace. Even when it is in the moulting period, as it seen in the picture [the picture is taken while it is moulting]. The singing style also good enough, especially when it is 'drunk', in the top form, top performance. I think I'll be patient, keep having it and taking care of it as it is always satisfiying my ears with its songs everyday.

The other Thrush I had were also Orange Headed, and one species came from Nusa Tenggara, 'Punglor Cendana'.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Asian Pied Starling/Pied Myna

Asian Pied Starling or Pied Myna, previously it had scientific name as Sturnus Contra, absolutely classified into Sturnidae. For the time being it is classified into the Genus of Gracupica and their name become Gracupica Contra. I do not know why they put this bird into that classification order.  But based on my opinion, this bird kind is close to Starling rather than to Myna.

Famously called Jalak Uret in Indonesia. They have black and white trimmed color over the whole body. Black head color, white chest, black tail, a little bit pink on creamy to grey leg, cream to yellow beaks with orange to red orbital skin. Some sub species may occurs regarding their local mutant habitat. The differential is only a little, such as additional red color in the beaks, or from other origin there were white colors above the beak in front of brow or eyes. This white feather's color had so many varies based on its origins.

The picture belows is taken from Wikipedia, shows the Asian Pied Starling for West Bengal, India Origin. See the detail, they had a little bit red color in their beaks and a little white color feathers in front of their eyes/above beaks.

It was the best one among 'Jalak' family. In the wild, they lived in the shallow trees forrest, paddy's field, near river/river banks, villages. Even in the past, when the people population is  not too rapid as today, they also live in the edge of small town in Java. They used to find worm,  snail or other insects in the rice fields, sometimes they became a good mate for bull, cow  or buffalo as they lived on the bull's back to take all mites and lice from their skin.

After big exploitation in late 60's to early 90's, they became rare in the wild in 90's. This condition is same as to what happened to Pycnonotus Zeylanicus that time. Fortunately, this  condition gave an oportunity to the breeders who could saw bright future and took the chance for trying to breed this bird kind. The result is, they have successfully breed them as the  commercial result also melting profits to them.

If you can find them now in the market, most of the Pied Myna wore ring on their leg. It shows that they are now the product of the breeders or farms. Only a little survived birds from the wild is traded today. It is a good sign, as they have a chance to be scored out from the mark of the red list member now.

This Picture is showing the Pied Starling from Java Origin. They had all black color cap, from base of beak to the end of cap, more lower black color on their chest.
If you try to feed them since they were baby with another adult birds collection you had, you better watch out as it is will resulting the Pied Myna with the songs copied from the birds you had. They are smart enough to reproduce the sound they heard everyday, especially if they are the youngster one.

In the early day I collect and take care songster birds, it was early 80's, the Pied Myna was the one of my favorite bird. It became the patron bird. Another function applied to this bird was the alarm to me. It was not a quiet bird, even in the middle of the night. Once they have a little bit hindrance to their sleep at night because of the person or other sound or light, crowdly they awaken. So, it is more safe to keep them as your live alarm, also protect from thieves. For this purpose, a lot of people in Java in the past put them in the house. Sounds like amazing thing, does it?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Bush 'Branjangan' Lark [Mirarva Javanicus]

Bush Lark, Mirarva Javanicus,or Branjangan in Indonesia name, was the most amazing and also the only ground bird, which used to be a collection pet bird in Indonesia. They had an amazing songs, loud sound [consider its small body size] and the most important is the way they acts when singing songs. They can singing while flying. The 'flying' is very funny as they fly almost only vertically, they could not do the horizontal direction as the other common birds. They use their foots rather than use the wings. That is the reason why they had been classified as the ground bird.

The pictures here I presented on the right side is my collection, the one and only one bush lark I had for the time being. I think I will collect another one, but regarding the number of the bird collections I had now, I have to re-consider that, I did not have much more time for daily activity for taking care of them all. Maybe later ...

The bird is seems not came from Java regarding its color, size and the physical acts [see and compare the other smaller pictures I attached - I forgot where these 2 pictures I get down loaded - maybe in 2005 when I stayed in Jakarta]. The color is too dark, too many brown. The size looks smaller than the Java's. The last one, usually bush lark from Java used to raise their cap feathers if they are male and adults, almost all the time. And this one I had was not like that. Seem it came from Nusa Tenggara or other islands near Bali [or the islands more to the east].

The first time I colect this bird kind was in 1996, or earlier .. I collected a couple. The one I get in Surabaya in 2001 was the greatest one. It came from a bird collector, which used it for bird exhibition or championship purpose. So, we shall know what quality bird was that. The bird was very dare to sing, in any time and any conditions. The sound was a super mega loud. The songs were quiet unique as I had made it records all the sounds I played from the electronic device, from CD player and also patronizing it by other birds such as Love Birds, Starling [Sturnus Contra], Prinias, and other common patron birds.

When I moved to Jakarta in 2005, I put the bird in my family hand. It did not get a good daily care/treatment for almost 2 years. So, in the end of 2006 I decided to transfer it to the care of a friend of mine, a bird lover, a collector, in Jakarta. His name is Mr. Widodo Lestari.
I brought the bird from Surabaya to Jakarta that time by night train, received by Mr. Wid @ 7 Jakarta time in Gambir, the Train Station. He had captured this bird acts once after he had this bird. I attached the short video capture for you can see it in here below.

Seems this gentleman still keep this bird for his collection until today. Unfortunaley, in the next couple weeks after I delivered the bird to the hand of Mr. Wid, I had received notification that I should moved back to Surabaya ... what a life.

The bird in the video was singing loudly while stretching its wings and vibrate it. It means it is threatening gesture toward other bush lark [other bird near by]. An invitation for a fight. As long as I have been informed by Mr. Wid, he also already had several bush lark stored in the same house. So, you can imagine what kind of sound he heard everyday if all of his bush lark are singing together in the same time. hohoho ... it must be very crowd, noisy and breaking the ears ...

Just look and see what is the cage for the bush lark is looks like. Refer to the way this bird fly and acts when it is singing, the cage for this bird also had unique design. The cage is tall enough to give a room and space for bird to fly vertically. The shape can be round or square. In the base of the cage, it must be flat and plain. The Sands or other coarse material should be put in a thin layer, as the bird has a unique behavior. They used to use the sand for bathing. Usually in the wild, this activity worked for the purpose of departing the mite or lice hide in their feather. The sands or ashes from ants nest are sometimes producing gas, which the mite or lice does not like it. In the middle of the cage's bottom, a vertical perch with a stone mounted on its top for the bird to rest their feet while sun bathing.

The birds exhibition or championship in Indonesia had been excluded this bird kind from the list since around 2003. This made the demand for this bird in Indonesia's market drastically goes down. The bird sellers does not in a rush no more to provide this bird. The collector who wants now collect this bird will meet a little bit difficulties to find a quality bird. Not so many quality birds are available in the market. I have checked this when I tried to find a good one last time. And if there any quality bush lark in the bird seller's hand, so it must be very high price they will offer it to the buyer.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Bar-Winged 'Prenjak Putih' Prinia

Bar-Winged Prinia [Prinia Familiaris] or Prenjak [Putih] as it is its name in Indonesia, belong to Family: Syviidae, adopting the note of Martin Strange, it has length about 13 cm. It is distinguished from other prinias by two bars in its wings. I do not know how to describe its sounds [in English], but according M. strange, the voice is: an explosive and high-pitched twee-wee-wee.

Well, the sound is the core point of this article. Can you imagine what an amazing sound is that?

Mr. Strange absolutely has done the detail survey to this species, but I could make note that one of his statement in his book 'Birds of Indonesia' was not really true: 'on Bali it feeds on rice in the family temples'. Yes, I could said that, because commonly the birds lover in Indonesia knows and it is well known that these birds will consumes insects only. It is very difficult to teach them to consume the industrial bird food products, so, to feed them with something like rice is very impossible. The Sparrow may did that and he saw those sparrows. But I also will say, if that thing is really happened, the prinia must be very hungry and got a huge starving feeling ... hahaha... [btw, nothing is impossible in the world, right..?]

Anyway, I had have this bird kind for many times before and for the note, I had specific condition for collecting and caring this bird: they has not to be an insects consumer only, they must take consume the industry made bird food also. The reason why I state this, because sometimes I am too busy with my job, my work, I can not always looking for them the insects from the market or the bird food seller. So, in emergency case [while I'm too busy] they must consume what is in the cage I prepared the daily diets for them. For if they are not to do that, they will not survive then.

Commonly, this bird can sing several type of songs. Usually about 5 [five] different songs, that was the common intelligent capability of this bird. If the bird was tamed since baby's age, about 3-5 weeks and never hear heir original song from other bird, they will adopt the sound of other bird they heard everyday. The sound must be closely the same to their own voice type. By the way, I ever heard a prinia, in a birds event/exhibition, which could sing the Yellow-Vented Bulbul's songs. Damned, I really feel very surprised that time... and of course, the owner put a high price on it when I asked him the value for that if he would like to sell it.

In Indonesia, usually the birds lover have this Prinia for the mastering purpose. The mastering has a meaning that the birds for the contest in Indonesia shall has various sounds, so this prinia will be the patron for the contest birds to duplicate its sounds.

Once I had found a bird, the prinia, which had amazing voice, so loud, the songs were unique and the bird was really dare to sing, challenging the other birds. That was when I used to work for a project in Bojonegoro in 2007. Unfortunately, the owner seem doesn't want to sell it. Baahh... made me really feel over disappointed.

I ever had a very good quality prinia, once in 1995, in Splendid Bird Market, Malang. I have to pay Rp. 60,000.- that time. That was a little bit higher than its common price that time. But it's o.k. for me because the bird was very dare to sing in the crowd and always singing. It also not too difficult in daily diet, fulfilled my specification I mentioned on above. Unfortunately, I was the one that quickly get bored to something I had for not so long period. I sell that bird when I got interested to other bird and I changed it.

Until today, I still hunting, looking for a quality prinia every time I had time to be spent to birds market or in friend collections. The picture I present on above was the Prinia I had today. It has a good song, an original one but not the common song. Usually they had single song to be repeated, but this one I had could sing two different voice to be repeated. That's why I collected it. It was a special one.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Sudden Death... to Pycnonotus Zeylanicus

Sudden Death... it's a fantastic title, right? I have some bad experiences regarding sudden death, which often happened to birds. I will share a real story based on my own experience regarding the sudden death, which could be happened to your birds also.

It was a real expensive loss to me. I have found several death of my Straw-Headed Bulbul collections. One story I have told in other posted article, titled 'My 1st Pycnonotus 'Cucak Rawa' Zeylanicus [Straw-Headed Bulbul] where it told you how the [unfit] birds could be died by the cold water spraying [in morning bathing]. The other second thing like this was happened on year 93, in Malang, when I was a student of a Technology Institute in there.

I bought a young Straw-Headed Bulbul, caught from wild/forest, seems it is a female one. It cost me Rp. 80,000.- [Eighty Thousand Rupiahs] at that time, 1993, in Splendid birds market, Malang. It took about a month [caring period] since I bought, to make it starts singing. It sang its first song I heard when the rain was coming in a rainy day, absolutely I feel happy for that. The song was very simple [hehehe, of course it match to its price]. After couple months I took care of it, it grew became more rapid in singing songs, more familiar to human, looks already tamed, did not seen too wild no more. During the period I took care of it, I also bought other same birds kind. Other Straw-Headed Bulbuls I had then that time, was became 5 [five] birds. So I had some Straw-Headed Bulbuls, where I had a little bit more of interest on that kind. As some may says that the Straw-Headed Bulbul was an exclusive one, aristocratic character and high level performance, for bird [of course]. They had more appreciation by birds lovers in Indonesia, compared to other bird kinds. It was a little bit more difficult to get this kind, especially the good one.

On day, the bird looked unfit, not that healthy no more, it had lost its voice even it still could sing. The voice was closely unheard. The sounds were hoarse and husky. This condition has had happened for a couple days and did not getting better until weeks after that. But after couple weeks, its condition, physically, looked getting better. The voice became heard out, even it was not clear yet. I still done the same treatment on daily basis. Until one day, I put it into its bathing cage and spray with water in that morning. The bird seems very happy took a bath, I could saw it sang couple songs while taking bath. After few minutes, I put it back to its cage for then I hung it to get warmed by sunlight. I left it that for several minutes by treated my other birds. Next hour, I have finished took care all my birds collection. I started look at the cages I hung, I could not found that bird on its perch. I was very surprised then, when I took down the cage from the place I hung it, I found it, again, laid on the base of the cage, dead. The body was still warm. What the ....., I just got watched it spread its wings widely to get more sunlight while also sung couple minutes ago...

The thing made me got surprised was look at it singing happily, but it also die suddenly!

I just could not get it into my logic mind when that thing happened. Even the years after that incident. It looks so strange and weird to me. But I wanna tell you this, beware of taking care a Straw-Headed Bulbul when it's get not in fit condition; Do not try to make it taking a morning bath.... [or you may get the same thing as the above sample]

Friday, February 20, 2009

My 1st Pycnonotus 'Cucak Rawa' Zeylanicus [Straw-Headed Bulbul]

My 1st Pycnonotus 'Cucak Rawa' Zeylanicus [Straw-Headed Bulbul] I bought in 1983, in Kupang Bird Market, Surabaya. It cost me about Rp. 15,000.- [Fifteen Thousands Rupiah], it was a lot of money to me at that time. I had to collect and save my daily pocket money [my parents gave me a little money on daily basis] for over than 2 [two] months. It was a hard effort to me, isn't it? I did that based on my hobby and I loved it that much.

The birds were kept in a cage, with a population about 50 birds. It wasn't a good place for those birds as the survival mode had to be taken by the birds. The birds condition was not good at all. The feathers were dirt, tarnish and wet. The eyes were not shine. Some of them looks in sick/ill condition. The birds looks same and similar, you can not even look which one is male and female. Especially for the new comer as I am.

When the buyer had chosen the bird they wanted, the water mark is required and this will be done by spraying water onto the chosen bird. It will lead the seller to catch it. When the bird is in hand, then it will be stored in a paper case [for the buyer to bring it home] made from the paper of portland cement sack, with some small holes as ventilation. It seems very ruthless as the bags is not designed to retain pressing or stressing [will hurts the bird], the smell and vapor of portland cement is still in it, breathing will be a torment in there also. But that's all happened.

I had chosen the best one [in my opinion, based on my own visual observation only], ignoring the sexing. Took the bird to home, put in the cage, then feed it with banana, industrial made bird food and some extra fooding such as crickets and ant eggs. That was what I remembered. In the morning, next day, I started taking care of it, as the same treatment to my other birds I collected. Cleaning the cage, feed it, spray water on it for morning bath and the put it under the morning sun to make it feel warm and also to terminate the virus or other disease source in the cage.

The bird, the Straw-Headed Bulbul I bought yesterday, just sit still in its perch. Looked get cold by the bathing. I just left it as is for couple hours as usual, as the daily birds caring I did.

After couple hours, I thought they had enough sunlight, so I have to put the in the house to their own places as the ordinary place I put. I have surprised that time, I did not found the new Straw-Headed Bulbul on the perch. I took down the cage from the hook where I hung it and I got the bird already laid in the base of the cage. I said, damned! It died.

It took tens of years to find out why it could be died in short period of caring like that. I've learned from other same experiences in next few years after that, talked to other expert, read the references books, then I got the lesson from the case. Here we are, the most important lesson today:[See the words in capital letters...]
The fact, the bird was caught from the wild, get stressed, not in full health condition by bad feeding during the process of transporting. They also got bad experiences of treatment since got caught until it got placed in the road side to be sold. So, when it got sprayed by cold water in the morning, after got cold wind blows at night [I put the bird in the outside of the house at night without cage curtain cover], they were get shocked. The bad news is, the shock condition causes sudden death.
NEVER EVER TREAT A NEW [WILD CAUGHT] BIRD WITH WATER FOR BATHING... [at least until it looks get better in its health]

Oh my....
But I'm not feel so sorry for that, people shall learn by doing... right?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Pycnonotus Zeylanicus [Straw-Headed Bulbul]

Pycnonotus Zeylanicus, famously called as Straw-Headed Bulbul and ‘Cucak Rawa’ as Indonesian named it, from Family Pycnonotidae has a large size as 28 cm, with a loud and bubbling sound becoming a favorite and preferred bird for the birds lover in Indonesia since early ‘70’s. There is a reason of name Cucak Rawa in Indonesia, why they called it like that is because of its habitat. They prefer forest edges near waterways such as streams, large river and tidal mangroves, those places called 'Rawa or Rawa-Rawa' in Bahasa Indonesia [as also stated by Morten Strange in his book ‘Birds of Indonesia’]. This bird also could live in the aviary or cage for more than ten years with a good caring and feeding.

The conservation status is Vulnerable. Listed on Appendix II of CITES. Highly prized caged birds; poaching and trapping has led to dramatic population declines and local extinction, habitat loss also a problem. Habitat preservation offers some protection, but capture and trade still permitted in some areas.
Before ‘70’s, it was previously common and then the numbers are extremely reduced mainly due to the bird trade. The population in Indonesia, occurs in parts of Java, all Sumatra and Kalimantan. In the late of ‘70’s, seem already extinct in Java as the population of this bird’s collector are mainly located in Java. Today, even in Sumatra this bird is becoming rare now as the exploitation of this bird in ’80’s to 90’s was blown.

At late of ‘90’s to ’00 some birds lover is getting harder in giving effort to breed this bird. As the time goes by, the effort is resulting good news. In many places, news has arose that the breeders are breeding these birds successfully. It is now very difficult to find this bird in the market, which came from the wild/caught from the forest. Usually it came from the breeder, as we could see they wore ring in their legs.

I remember the first time I have got this bird by buying in the Kupang birds market in Surabaya in 1984. It cost me Fifteen Thousand rupiahs, where I should have to save my daily pocket money for about couple months at that time. The bird seller put the birds in a big bamboo cage, where tens of it is placed in there. We just have to mark the bird by spraying with water for then the seller could recognize to be caught. Absolutely we could not get the best bird as we expected through this way.

Today, 25 years later, the bird’s price has been goes up to around Two Millions each, in around 2007. The price has been peaked up to more than 100 times! It was the price for the ‘new comer birds’. If you want to have a good one, the one that always singing all days, you have to prepare some more additional money. The highest rate were held by the bird which could sing just like a couple or more than three birds [Indonesian used to called in ‘Ropel’ sound]. It was an amazing sound, which you will never forget if you ever heard it, very beautiful and wonderful. The sound that only could produced by this bird. If you want to collect this type, at least you shall prepare to be cost for more than Ten or Twenty Millions rupiahs minimum, it’s a to date rate.

I bought this kind Straw-Headed Bulbul in the early’90’s is still around a Hundred Thousands in Rupiah. That time, I have had collected 5 birds and today, I also start to breed this bird by collecting about 5 birds also. Even I am not really sure how I can continue this breeding experiment due to my work business and job assignment, which often takes time. Absolutely, this will push aside my duty to take care these birds of mine.

I have several references regarding the breeding of Straw-Headed Bulbul. The oldest one is a book written by a vet., Drh. Nugroho, ‘Budidaya Burung Cucak Rawa’, which set his book and released in December 1986 and I bought his book in 8-9 years after that release time and until today, they still produce the copies and available in the book store. He is also an ex. Chief of Ornithology Society in Indonesia.

The other old book is ‘Cucak Rawa’, written by Sudrajat, ex. Lecture and a staff in Government Bureau. The book was released in 1993. The other books were released after that. It is a little bit difficult to find a book about bird in Indonesia at that time, compared what is been available in the book stores today.

Both of the books on above seems have inspired a lot of people who really want to know about the breeding of this bird, to start the breeding as soon as the have finished read the book. Really powerful book, inspiring and give spirit. I like those books, even the writing style is very orthodox, the picture is poor and the book it self is short. But it was good in the content, anyway. I admire that. You better read it too, for your knowledge at least.

Why this bird kind is getting higher and higher in its price? Surely we all knew the answers. The extinction was the main answer. The great news is, the bird exhibitions and championship in Indonesia for the time being is excluding this bird kind. This matter also decreases the interest of the birds lover to collect it. Due to the economically reason, breeders are now growing in number to breed this bird. Hopefully, the rare and extinct marked to this bird will surely banish as the number of this bird population is increased day by day. Why don’t you try to breed this bird also? Join in battle field to fight against this bird’s extinction….

Next essay, I will tell you more about this bird based on my experiences in more than 25 years caring and collecting this kind of bird. That’s a very interesting thing. Just stay clicking this site bro …

Sunday, January 11, 2009

New Year 2009

Happy New Year 2009... It's a brand new year for us all to start another in life. Some friends of mine said that birds business is not good in 2008 for birds seller. This condition also happened in birds exhibitions, the entrant is not too interested to participate. That is maybe a quiet right statement. As we're all knew, the global economy condition's today ain't so good, as it is also have influenced some business in all aspects. Hopefully, things is getting better this year.