Friday, July 29, 2011

Asian Fairy-bluebird 'Cucak Gadung' (Irena puella)

The Asian Fairy-bluebird, Irena puella, is a medium-sized, arboreal passerine bird.

This fairy-bluebird is found in forests across tropical southern Asia from the Himalayan foothills, India and SriLanka east through Indochina, the Greater Sundas and Palawan (Philippines). Two or three eggs are laid in a small cup nest in a tree. It was described by British ornithologist John Latham in 1790. The only other member of the genus and family is the Philippine Fairy-bluebird, Irena Cyanogastra, which replaces the Asian Fairy-bluebird in most of the Philippines.

The adult Asian Fairy Bluebird is about 24 to 27 centimeters (9.4 to 11 in). The male has glossy, iridescent blue upper parts, and black underparts and flight feathers. The female and first year male are entirely dull blue-green.

It eats fruit, nectar and some insects. Its call is a liquid two note glue-it.

That's what I have read, a part about this bird kind, if you wanna know about this bird further more, click this Wikipedia link. One thing they missed, seems this bird widely spread in Java.

Well, I have known this bird since I was a teenage, when I was a newbie in bird business, around mid of '80's in my neighborhood. I thought, that time, that was a very nice looking bird, until someday I have heard this bird sung a little bit, what a weird sound to me [ain't heard as my favorite common singing birds that time, such as Hwa Mei [Garrulax Canorus], Kacer [Copsycus Saularis], Murai Batu [Copsyscus Malabaricus], Asian Pied Starling (sturnus Contra), etc.) but I could not remember what kind of sound it was. What I still remember, somebody told me about its name 'Cucak Gadung' when I asked it. Maybe it's a common name.

Rarely I found bird lovers has this bird. Of course, the reasons are this bird might has no good sound/songs, they also not the commonly found bird around the village population, so they must be not included in the preferred pet birds in Java. The exception is they had beautiful color that we could not deny.

One day, it was couple weeks ago, I was attending a seminar, held by Govt Ministry of Resources and Energy, in Hyatt Hotel Jogjakarta. This session gave me a chance to take a look a this city's bird market. Previously, the bird market in Jogja was Ngasem Bird Market, so we were just looked around 'Pasar Ngasem' and we could not see where the he** the market was. After several times we drove around, we asked someone in there and then we heard that the market has been moved to another new built place designated as a bird market. In the opposite, across the road, there is another new place for plants & flowers market. We parked the car and then get into the place.

The market is very big, bigger than I thought before. I think it is now becoming the biggest and the best in Indonesia, even better than Sanglah, Denpasar Bird Market. Pramuka Bird Market in Jakarta is biggest based on the seller booth/kiosk, which very much (this is normal, upon the population of Jakarta). But based on the area, Bird Park in Jogjakarta, the new one in Bantul Street, is bigger.

There are 3 kiosks at least, that had this bird. Fortunately, I found a kiosk that had 2 birds, which one of those is Sub-Adult/Juvenile. It has feather's color like the female/hen. Black color back ground, with tosca [color between green & blue] all over the body part. But I have seen at some part, some feathers already turned to blue color, very bright blue, as seen in those picture in above. Those pictures were taken a week after arrived in my home, in the end of July 2011. In my opinion, this bird already 3-4 months old, in regards of its first molting period. It shows how this chick looks becoming an adult male bird.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Sanglah Birds Market, Denpasar, Bali

This is the next travel to the bird market in the out side of Java Island, where I can get a little bit time to spent on it, during my waiting time before attending the Iron Maiden Concert in Bali in early of this year. It is placed in Sanglah, Denpasar, the Capital City of Bali Province.
The place is very nice, clean and tidy. There are 2 roads for Entrance and exit, where in the end of the Block is located a "Pura", a temple of Hindu religion. So, whether you are going to the bird market, if would like to, you may have a nice view also to the temple. Isn't it looks great, man ...

A lot of typical simple cages, mass product of factories, made from plastic coated wires in very interesting shape and colorful are available in there. Absolutely cages made from wooden and bamboo also available. Accessories are offered in so many varies, from feeding bowl, perches, water sprayer, even the aquariums and its equipment also provided.
We can see a box cage full of Javan Myna (Acridotheres Javanicus) in the picture above, a very beautiful kind of Myna of Java. This kind is still have big population in its nature, so, not so many breeders wants to breed this kind until to date, in addition that the price of this kind is cheap. There is a big gap, in the price, between this Myna compare to other mynas, such as Asian Pied Starling (Sturnus contra), Bali Myna (Leucopsar rothschildi) , Black-Winged Starling (Sturnus melanopterus), which their price at the local market are very high due to their population in nature and availability in the market that very minimum and rare, beside the regulation in trading it, and this is the reason why the breeders are very interesting to breed it.

You can see in the pictures, there were some other pets available in there such as small monkeys, squirrel, even there were some big bats :-O what a mess ..... what's wrong with those guys anyway?

Monday, June 13, 2011

Leaf Bird (Cucak Hijau) - Chloropsis Aurifron

In the earlier essay, the same topic, about the Leaf Birds, I have to say that this bird species has several sub species, which they have a little bit differential in the color of the feathers and minor in size. At least there are 2 kinds of this bird in Indonesia, one origin in Java and another one is in Sumatra. I have collected those two kinds just to get their pictures to be presented in here.
The first 2 pictures are showing the Leaf bird of Sumatra origin. They are a little bit smaller in size, about 100 mm and it is relative and varies. One common different colors are the yellow [green to yellow] in the front part of head. The black color at the throat [only appears on cock/male only]is the same with the Java Leaf bird, except a pair of blue feathers, mustache shape, continuing the beak line and this color won't seen clearly, as it place in the black feather's color as the back ground.
The major green color also different, seems a bit of magenta color also appears, and also yellow, mixed with the green. This bird is singing very often, better than its closest brother in Java. The sound variation also better than the other one. Unfortunately, its songs could not be too long, generally, they used to sing the short songs repeatedly.
The bird also better in copying other bird's songs. Very smart and more intelligent. All its songs seems duplicated and generated from other birds, it is rare to hear its original songs, which very specific.
The next two pictures are showing the Leaf bird from Java origin. We can see the colors of the feathers are different than the previous Leaf bird. The green color is closely just like 'leaf', pure green. No blue feathers appears at the throat. No yellow color at the front head part. It is also seems bigger in size than the Sumatra origin. The most valuable thing is, it has a very loud sound. The songs it sings also little bit longer. In the birds competition, this kind also has more fighting spirit, which push them to sing better. For the time being, the Java origin Leaf birds are the most favorite one, better than the another Sumatra.
It is very interesting to know that some leaf birds has several different color variations to each origin. Decades ago, some bird importer had introduced Leaf birds comes from China. This bird is more colorful, much prettier than its relatives in Indonesia, has different shape and function of beak. The beaks are closely looks like the nectars and honey eater, rather than fruits or insect eater. It is common to teach them to consume factory bird food, besides the fruits & insects,in Java and some birds may could adapt in its behavior. But this is rarely could happen to the Leaf birds from China, purely they only consume and eat insects, fruits & honey [mixed with water]. They also sing very often in a long song. Today, we could not found any Leaf birds from China, since the importing or exporting from China is stopped. The picture of this bird is shown by clicking in here.
The last picture is showing those both birds are in the bathing cages, before their daily sun bathing while the cages are cleaned up. It is also shows the different colors between them in the upper part [seen from above]. Unfortunately I have decreased the picture quality due to easier up loading, but this matter also have decreased the pictures quality itself. The right one is from Sumatra and the left is from Java.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Silver-Eared Mesia/Pancawarna [Leiothrix Argentauris]

Leiothrix is a genus in the Old World babbler family. Among the Old World babblers proper, they belong to a clade also containing at least the liocichlas, barwings, minlas and sibias. The sibias are possibly their closest living relatives (Cibois 2003). The Silver-eared Mesias are common in the highlands & very sociable (usually in a group) and quite friendly. They are delightful to watch, and one of the most colourful species.
This bird kind used to be popular together with its closest relatives, the Red-billed Leiothrix, Leiothrix Lutea, in Java they are called 'Robin', since early of 80's until end of 90's, when the imported birds from China mostly stopped.
This birds has not much variation in songs, usually they only sings 2 or three kind of songs. In the way they singing also little bit boring, as they use to sing one single song in repetition. Based on this fact, the bird lovers in Indonesia usually uses this bird as a pattern bird to be duplicated by other singing birds. Some birds which used to be the copier are Hwa Mei [Garrulax Canorus], Kacer [Copsycus Saularis], Murai Batu [Copsyscus Malabaricus] and many more.
Beside of its songs or sound, some bird lovers may loves its appearance, as this bird's feathers are colorful. It is the reason why this bird in Indonesia used to be called 'pancawarna', which means 5 colors.
It is very difficult and very rare to find this bird tamed in the hand of bird lovers. Usually they are very wild, agile, used to fly and jump over around in its cage.
The hen can not sing, except one screechy sound and this is the most important parameter to classify its sexing, instead of the feather's colors. Sexing by the colors is easier when the birds are not singing. The cock has more colorful, bright and shiny, in opposite of the hen, which paler and duller than the cock, with less bright colors, more yellow than orange and has golden or tawny yellow upper tail coverts (red in males). It is also difficult for sexing the juvenile, when they can not sing yet. The juvenile's feather colors are remaining the same between the cock and the hen, both are paler. This condition will change when they are molting.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Last Black-Throated Laughing Thrush/Poksay [Garrulax Chinensis Chinensis] in Town

This is my new Black-Throated Laughing Thrush [Garrulax Chinensis Chinensis] or Poksay as we, the birds lover in Indonesia, like to call it that way. This bird kind used to be very famous in Indonesia in decade 80's, when the faucet of importing the birds from out side of Indonesia is widely opened. This is the paradise era for the birds lover in here as so many kind of birds from other countries, other continents, are easy to be found in varies. It is now very difficult to find this bird in Indonesia today. Some other birds also had same condition as this bird, such as Garrulax Canorus, Red-billed Leiothrix or "Pekin Nightingale" [Leiothrix Lutea].
Actually, first time I had this 'Poksay' is around 1984. I did not know how to choose which one is female and what is the male looks like. So, the first Poksay I bought was the female one, in which she could not produce any good sound. Just one single female song. What a pathetic beginner's way to learn. Secondly, I was smarter, of course I could get the male one, which already tamed, singing often. The price for male Poksay was 15,000 rupiah at that time and the female was about 7,500 rupiah, half price of the male.

It is now 2011. It's been 27 years after the first time I had my Poksay/Black-Throated Laughing Thrush. Suddenly, accidentally along my regular weekly trip of project's site visit from Surabaya to Bojonegoro, a regency, a city district of Province East Java, I found a Poksay, one of the Poksay left, stay alive, in 3rd millennium in Indonesia in a birds shop/seller. I said to myself, shit, this is very great, man ... So I asked the seller about the price to take this bird to be my collection. Whoaa, the price has been goes up 50 to 100 times from the first price I got many years ago. Ok, it is normal ... So I pay it and take it home.
This bird looks so good in condition, physically. No less, but a very mature one. For your information, the last imported Poksay came from China introduced in to Indonesia was around late 90's or at least in the early of 2000. So, imagine how old is it? It must be more than 10 years old right now ..... and it is still singing and fit in its condition.
When I took this bird to my home, it was in molting condition, so I did not even hear its sound or its sings. Several days later, once its molting period is out of the blue, it is start to sing. Unfortunately, the molting period for the bird which is very mature often took a little bit longer than usually happen to its kind. This means that its sings not as much as I hope, maybe I should wait until all the feathers are complete or replaced by new feathers.
I've been thinking maybe I have to buy some other birds to accompany this bird, which has sound or sings close to this kind. One of the bird that has sound looks like or closely sounded like this Black-Throated Laughing Thrush is the Oriole kind. Specifically the Black-Naped Oriole [Oriolus Chinensis Maculatus]. This bird has unique sound and I have found one, which had all criteria I want, in the same seller as I bought the Black-Throated Laughing Thrush. The Oriole, or 'Kepodang' as we used to call it, I mentioned had the criteria, was very tamed, sings very often and youngster. But the bad thing is, I think it also in the middle of its molting period, but fortunately it still sings very good.
The funny thing is, every time there is a cake seller is passing by, using its car and sounding the jingle of its brand, with funny music, this bird is singing suddenly. I did not realize this fact, until one day I realize by hear the same song of those two different entities, at the same time, everyday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Bratang Bird Market - Surabaya

There are several bird markets that available in Surabaya city. One of those is Pasar Burung Bratang/Bratang Bird Market, which located in Bratang area. This bird market seems built in around late of 70's or early of 80's. I just visited this place first time in the end of 1983. At that time, the building looks still in good condition, I thought like it is been built in just couple years ago, still seems like a new building to me.
In early of 80's, when I used to go to this place, I've seen the front yard, that was the parking area today, used to be a place for hanging the birds. I was not sure, was that for the competition or exhibition or just for exercise. The steel pipe frame is set on that place with a small diameter of bamboo webbing/plait and a number is painted in there, functioned as points to hang the birds. Some birds as common popular birds to be exhibited that time were Chinese Hwamei or Melodious Laughingthrush (Leucodioptron canorum, formerly Garrulax canorus)Black-faced Laughingthrush/Poksay [Garrulax Affinis], Straw-Headed Bulbul/Cucak Rawa [Pycnototus Zeylanicus] and White-rumped Shama [Copsychus Malabaricus].
At the time I used to go to this bird market is the best time for some imported birds such as: Black-faced Laughingthrush/Poksay, Melodious Laughingthrush/Hwa Mei, Yellow Rumped Serins/Black Throated Canary, Gray Singing Finch, Kinds of Canaries, Red-billed Leiothrix/Pekin Robin, etc. It was so easy to get those bird kinds in the market, a thing that very opposite in conditions today, which those birds are very rare and no more imported birds available in the market.
Today, this bird market is still provides many kinds of bird, but the transaction is very minimum in number, also in values. Most of them are now also selling cages, in varies kind and type, in case to help their income, daily income, while they can not sells too many birds every month. This condition was caused by some issues and problems. One of those problems was the condition that not everyone is dealing or buying birds in the birds market. A lot of them are buying/trading the birds in the house [to house], on the birds exhibition or during birds championship, even trading via the internet, so this condition will kills the business in the birds market automatically.
The Bratang Birds Market's condition today was very needs concern. The building is getting poorer, the painting is more and more paler, the place is dirty, the electrical installation requires re-new, the floor tiles are cracks everywhere, dirt and needs to be replaced. The walls, as you could see in the pictures on above, is very dirty, stained by paints, and also gets rotted.
If you want to get the best quality of painted, hand painted or sprayed paint, cages in East of Java area or even in Indonesia in my opinion, this place is the right one. Some shops in Bratang are producing, in place, best cages, especially hand painted cages. Some shops which selling and producing painted cages also doesn't produces the cages in place, but they have another workshop and do the painting works in there. I have been in many birds markets in different places and different cities, been visited many shops that selling the cages for birds, and I have proven that I could not find better place than in here in order to get best quality of painted cages.
You can see in the both pictures on above, their main and major traded items were the cages. Some cages are still in raw material,ready to be set & finishes shall be applied, some of those cages were ready to be sold as seen in those pictures on above.