Monday, July 14, 2014

Pasar Burung Balekambang Solo (Birds Market in Solo)

The Video Clip is available by clicking this
This time I had to go to the Mid Java province, to a asestic nuns retreat, a hermitage, in Salatiga - named Pertapaan Gedono, (as it is said in the sign, first established in 80's by Romo Mangun, a catholic father), to check their roof problems. I took around 10 hours of driving from Surabaya, close to 650 km in road distance - pretty tired for doing that way ... but I have to do it anyway and for sure, the trip should have been amazing, since it is been a long time I did not going through those roadways.
The trip was truly interesting, passing by some small and little big cities, from East to Mid of Java province. One of the city that we shall through is Solo, a very important city in Mid Java, where at least around 60% of the money and business is traded in daily basis. I used to live in this city in 90's, so I knew there is a big birds market in there. So, I told my friend, my partner in driving, to visit this birds market if we have a little time in way back home then. He agreed and we just looked for that place, since I have forgot the place, did not have idea to what direction it was, but the place is near the bus terminal as I remember. We tried to find it in the evening, when we are passing the Solo city. Absolutely we are blind in there and the place was never been found. So we planned to start again to find it during the trip in the way back home later. So, once we have done the real business, we are going back to find where the birds market is located. After a while, taking effort to ask some persons in roadside, then we we are now in the Balekambang, in the birds market. As usual, it is normally found in the whole birds market in Indonesia, you will not only find birds kind in there. You will also can find other animals or pets in there, such as fox, rabbits, hamsters, white mice, several cats kind, fishes and its equipment, etc.
Actually the place is great, but it is not neat and untidy. Not well organized and sure not well managed in terms of health, safety, hygiens, comfortness and very hot!!! The management should take action, prior to start plantation, the big one. The trees, to let the environment is getting cooler in there (see the other article, find pictures of Birds Market in Jogjakarta: , where a lot of big trees inside the birds market area. In Balekambang, the parking area and the system is terrible. A nightmare. It is located around the place and looked very untidy and not well organized, even I can not find a parking lot. They parking motorcycle, bike, car and other vehicle everywhere, with no good arrangement.
The outer side are placed 1 story buildings, surrounding, couple type, back to back kiosks. Facing the roads around the location, are where the kisoks of the cages and accessories seller, some of them also selling birds, but not too much. And facing the inside, most of them are selling birds.
The soffit screen of the building's roof, made from wood, have no finishes, a plain wood color and make it seems like unfinished building construction. In my opinion, they should put some paint or other finishes to give a 'color' ... it also will protect the wood from the effect of the wheather, to make it more lasting. Climate and wheather in Indonesia are very extreme, especially in the humidity and the rain fall, which very often and almost happen to whole months of a year.
The inside buildings are 2 stories, made from concrete and brick masonry, looks like it is new building and not so long/just occupied. The kiosk is smaller and they are selling the birds mostly, not mentioning they are also selling other stuff, like cages and other pet animals. There are at least 2 staircase, made from concrete, to go to up stair to the second floor.
The building is closing square, with same couple back to back type of kiosks. In the middle, as a core, there is an elevated place, soil paved, with at least 2 meters high from the first floor surface level. This area is used as a place for hanging the birds in daily, and seems can be used as a place for weekly birds exhibition. As it seen in the picture, severals love birds are hung in there, for sun bathing. Again, as I have mentioned previously, they should put trees in there ....
Walking down the alley, the pavement is using paving block in simple pattern of grey color, small ditches located in both edges of the pedestrian with tiny looks fragile steel grating on top it. Along the pedestrian, placed kiosks of sellers who provides many kind of birds. I can recognize some kind of pigeons in somany races and doves, such as ground dove, zebra dove, indian dove, etc., then kind of parrots, class of copsychus, pynonotidae family like Pycnonotus aurigaster, Pycnonotus zeylanicus, Pycnonotus goiavier, and other pycnonotus that common available in Java, then some thrushes in zoothera genus such as orange headed thrush, chestnut-capped thrush, both the most common preffered thrush in Java. And also a lot of other common birds in Java, Sumatera and Kalimantan islands are available and easy to find in here.
Going to inside from outside part of this area is through the short corridors under the second floor slab, with nice white ceramic floor-finishes, I can see some bigger cage from steel material that commonly used for red junggle fowl subspecies or other bigger birds like Java Mynah, King Parrots or Caccatua. Those cages are stored in along the corridor, which I can not tolerate that way: they should not put it in there, because it is taking the right of the pedestrian, beside it will looked untidy anyway.
In the middle of the building, some cages contains love birds are being hung to get some sunrays for sun bathing, to keep the fit, instead of to be still kept in the kiosk, which it is not unhealthy. It is very common for the birds to be taken care in the morning by feeding, cleaning, water spray or water cage bathing then followed by drying under the sun exposure (sun bathing). I think this is very nice to have this area, where a series of hanger made from steel pipe at the certain elevation/level for hanging birds were prepared and ready to be used for the purpose of sun bathing, promoting/trading and also for exhibition in small scale.
Getting in to the cages hanging area, we have to go up using the stone masonry stair, a very nice and looks natural. More than ten stair cases to be stepped and ended in the area, where there is a concrete pedestrian separating paved soils that now being planted with grass (at least it looks a little bit different to see it green in the middle of the crowd)
Inside the inner building, going up to the second floor, I found some sellers are providing some kind of finches. Especially the singing finch, as Yellow Rumped Seeds Eater (Black Throated Canary), White Rumped Seeds Eater (Grey Singer), Green Singer, etc. Usually they are imported from overseas country, from legal breeder or illegally from the wild. I assume that by looking their behaviour, which is not tamed at all, the thing that opposite if the birds are coming from local breeder, which they mostly breeding them in a pair in small breeding cage instead of in big aviary like what the European Breeder did.
Some of them are looks very good in health, the feathers are clean and kept tidy. Some birds looks unhealth, with laid wings and not neat feathers. A little tips for you to choose birds you want to buy, check first the feathers to ensure they are fit, then, if it is not forbidden, catch them by hand, hold it and check the eyes, the fingers and nails, the bottom part/belly, which sometimes shows the disease, the fat, the age, and last but not least, check how it breaths by putting the beak in your ear, make sure that no sound heard that meaning the bird has no respiration problem or being ill or sick from a disease.
I also see the 'raw materials' such as the chicks of orange headed thrush, hundreds of asian pied starling chicks, 3 months old love birds in so many colors variation.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Hwa Mei - Melodius Laughing Thrush [Garrulax Cannorus]

Surprisingly, last year I heard around 11 birds of this kind has arrived in a bird market in Surabaya, but unfortunately I had no chance to get one of it. The news I heard was too late for me to catch it. Fortunately, there is another wave is coming and now I have a chance to get it.
I choose to take a pair, a couple of Hwa Mei. Those birds are wild, just like a new catch from the wild in China. No smooth and complete feather and absolutely they don't sing as you imagine.

I used to take care a lot of hwa mei many years ago and today I think I will put a same treatment as it used to be.

The birds are very wild at the first time they arrived at home. I have to catch the male, since I have to do some manicures (whoooa ...) on its nails and beaks, which already too long and can harm it self. After the exercise, the male is getting more wild and wild, seems it got stressed. So, I decide not do the same treatment to the female.
I take another option to prevent the nails from growing to much, by changing the perch from the previous (using Tamarind wood branch, which famously and always used for the caged bird in Indonesia, instead of other materials) and becoming pre-treated round-shape fabricated wood with glued sand underneath. The nails will be automatically sand-paper treated likes, everytime they jump or the fingers hold on it. They are now being tamed a little bit, especially the female. The male is still affraid when a person is closing to them or taking/bring their cage down, still looks too wild.

After the sixth month, both birds were reached adult age, getting attracted to each other. Everytime I separate them, or moving one of them to another place to hang its cage, they just apparently singing. The male is also singing more often everyday, it is a good sign that they have been tamed or adapted to the environment.
I also started to put the male to a round shape cage. The cage is a common shape and size, which usually been used in China or other place as it is origin. I can not find a daily use cage with this model in the market right now, especially the model and finishes according to what I want to, so when a friend offer me a used cage, I decided to take the offer. I brought the cage from Malang, where it came from, and put this to a specialist for re-build it, since the cage is broken, no bottom parts, no common accessories left from it. It been done within 2 weeks later then and I put the accessories on it, such as the hanger (steel), the clipper/locking (stainless plate), the feeding bowls, the perch, the carpet, etc. (By the way, the 'Batman' logo is very ugly, I think ...) Actually, the cage is very small for this bird kind, I think, but this is the most effective way to tame it. I still did not get a chance to find the cage for the female, the good one, so it still be placed in a square small cage. it does not matter, since the female is more tamed than the male.

I took a short video capture of this male Hwa Mei for you to have an idea how it is looks like right now, after six months of treatment and taking care of them, as seen by clicking this short cut: Finchpolis on Youtube, and check it out ...

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Jogjakarta - New Birds Market

3 years ago, I have a good chance to visit Jogjakarta, copied from Wiki 'a city and the capital of Yogyakarta Special Region in Java, Indonesia. It is renowned as a centre of classical Javanese fine art and culture such as batik, ballet, drama, music, poetry, and puppet shows. Yogyakarta was the Indonesian capital during the Indonesian National Revolution from 1945 to 1949. One of the districts in Yogyakarta, Kotagede, was the capital of the Mataram Sultanate between 1575 and 1640. The city is named after the Indian city of Ayodhya from the Ramayana epic. Yogya means 'suitable, fit, proper', and karta, 'prosperous, flourishing' (i.e., 'a city that is fit to prosper').[2]', during my course session for 'Oil & Gas Contractor', held by ESDM - Ministry of Energy & Minerals Resource. Absolutely, there's only 2 places I'd like to visit: the Birds Market and the famous 'Malioboro' street. I searched the information regarding the birds market and well informed that the previous 'Ngasem' birds market has been relocated and moved to a better place in the edge of the town, beside the main road between the city, area Dongkelan, Jl. Bantul KM 1, Yogyakarta. They named it 'Pasar Satwa dan Tanaman Hias Yogyakarta (PASTHY)'. Of course, near or in front of it (if I'm not wrong, as I remember) is where the Flower & Plants market is located. Looking at its name, actually it is not purely the birds market, since it is said the 'animals' market.
This first picture is showing how the previous Ngasem birds market looks like today. Barely almost empty from the activities as it is common in birds market, but some trader or seller are still hold on to this place. Surely the buyers are prefer to go to the big new one, except for some people who doesn't like to go more far and just buying small amount of bird food or something like that. Even the fishes and its equipment is still available in here. It is very common in Indonesia that every birds market, usually also available fishes and its equipment.
Some bird food sellers are like to stay to serve the people in this area and they should have permanent buyer or old customers, to let them alive and survive in here. They try to survive by serving the old customer near by or within the area, selling daily bird foods and some small stuff and cage's acessories
This is the face of the PASTHY, the birds/animals area, taken right from the Entrance Gate. The parking area seems neat, tidy, well paved and tens of cars can occupy the parking lots. even they made decoration in the parking pavement, marking the lot, drawing a bird shape and things like. It is not that beautiful, but I shall appreciate the effort for trying to. Nice, ehh ...
Entering the market area, there is separated walkway, quarry stones paved, with median made for garden/plantation and some big high aviary cages. A water fountain also seen in the middle of the garden, a small one and it is not activated. This walkway goes along the middle of the market, divide the market into two large area. Whether we go to the left side or right side, the whole area was fully occupied by the seller.
The walkway/pedestrian is branching, separating the seller's kiosks into blocks. No special allocation to each available block. There is area between the pedestrian and the kiosk, grass block paved. This area can be used for the seller to take care and maintain their goods, birds, or can be used for the trading place or show area. Most important, this area is a must in the birds market, since every bird requires sun bathing each day, especially in the morning, when the market started its activities. I found that this is rarely available in the common birds market I used to visit in Indonesia. I also found that garbage cans are available in every place. That's why this place is looked so clean, differs than any other birds market I ever visited.
I feel something's very different in here, more than visited other birds market. Very comfort. The place is very wide, among the garden, grass, plantation and big trees. This condition will not be found in other birds market. In Surabaya, the place is narrow, in the 1 and 2 stories building, with small size kiosks. In Jakarta, the biggest one, birds market in (Jalan) Pramuka street, even worst (or I might say the worst ever), the building's is 3 or 4 stories, the kiosks are smaller in size, the corridors are very narrow and the most uggly is the bird's waste. The waste is layering the corridor's floor and also the kiosk floor, since the place for hundreds of sellers with no appropriate garbage management. Imagine that, how many garbage and waste that should be cleaned in daily basis? More worst during the rainy season. I bet you could not stand the odors-smells it created.
Some corridors (whole corridors are open space, actually) are equiped with the place for hanging the birds. This will let the seller hang the cage in there and the buyer will take their time to watch, until the transaction is made and get deal. I believe all caged birds, even the wild one, will be happy and made their best appearance and sings their best songs ever!!
Almost all common traded birds are available in here. Even the imported bird kind, such as the parrots family. Especially the common and unrestricted birds, they will be found easily in here. Birds traded from Jakarta to Surabaya or from Sumatera island to Bali, through Java island. Landed in Jakarta city from Sumatera, going to Surabaya city before arrived in Bali. Those trip of trading commonly have to pass Solo city or Jogjakarta city. That's why we can find more easy birds kind in here rather in other city.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Red Siskin [Carduelis Cucullata]

"The Red Siskin (Carduelis cucullata) is a small passerine bird. This finch is a resident breeding bird in tropical South America in northern Colombia and northern Venezuela (where it's called "cardenalito"). The introduced population on Trinidad is believed to be extinct, with no sightings since 1960.
Some hope has been given to this highly endangered species by the discovery in 2003 of a population of several thousand birds in southern Guyana, 1000 km from any previously known colony. Otherwise the world population is believed to be between 600-6000 pairs." 

The quotes on above will be read if you take a look in Wikipedia.
Actually, trying to have this bird is close to 'just a dream' to me, since it is not available in the market nor no Importer would like to bring this bird to Indonesia, where I have to wait for tens of years 'till this day. It is a lucky day when a friend of mine told me that one pair left in the market, for me to right away hunt it and get it. The couple looks very good, young and healthy. I guess its reached at least 1 year old. The male, the red one, looks very active, pretty often to sing and chirping. The female, the duller feather color, seem a little bit wild. More wild than the male. I see some feathers are fallen in the bottom of the cage. One of them is in molting. The day after I brought it home, I separate them, each in individual cage. The purpose is to let them becoming more fit and healthy untill the molting period is over and they will ready for breeding. There is no use to keep them in pair if one or both of them are in molting period, they will not breed anyway. It can be seen in the picture, the female feathers in the cap is not tidy, some of the feather was fallen and some of it are growing. It is more important to feed them with good diet, treat them with minerals and vitamins, so the female will be much better for breeding preparation. The female molting period took longer than the usual time required. The feathers are not fall together in a such period, but falls per body part, started from the head/cap, down to the lower parts.

They are very beautiful, in shape and also in their color. I use to watch them every morning and it is nice to see different color rather than to see the grey and brown color of the Yellow or White Rumped Serins an Green-Yellow of the Green Singer. I just remember the first time I heard the male's singing its song, looks so strange to me, since I used to hear the songs of Yellow Rumped Serins, White Rumped Serins/Grey Singer and also the Green Singer, which they sing in rapid tempo. This Siskin is singging slowly in tempo, the rhythm is quiet slow too.
I am going to try to have some chicks of Grey Singer or Yellow Rumped Serins will have this Red Siskin song. I believe they will make a good very slow tempo songs. Some Yellow Rumped Serins/Black Throated Canary of White Rumped Serins/Grey Singer lovers are really like the birds are singing in slow tempo rather than in speeding.

I used to put a small wooden box for the bird to make their nest. For this pair, I tried to use a quarter cut ball shape rattan (or bamboo?) woven nest shell, but seems they didn't like it very much. So, I build a small wooden box for the nesting bowl, with the sizes and width to fit the cage's door to pass it.
Hoping that they will like it and use it as soon as the molting is over.