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 …