shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Wild caughts // Jackie and Jackie Mash // plug for Formosan Blue Magpies


Ketile in a French forum continued to ask of me
"But if I understood well.
The real reason why you still buy wild birds is because you don't know if you coud keep him if you have to live this country and you need to have the possibility to give your bird back to the wild... ???"

That is only partly true in the present circumstances. If there are captive bred birdies, I would have given preference to buying captive bred. With their longer exposure to humans, they would be more likely to be friendlier. But neither do I say no, with the righteous indignations shown by some folks as if wild caught birds are obscene. You read my last report to know my frame of mind.

Those kind of folks felt it would be far better for those wild to be cooked in pots, shot and buried in obscure fields of Australia, or caught to die in the cages of the shops so they feel morally good and superior. They felt 353 heads of African greys were nothing at all to their desire to feel good. They do not wish to recognise the campaign to ban all wild caught CAG indirectly caused those 353 greys to lose their heads. I so love their brand of blinkers and rose tinted glasses. If folks can tell me where that can be bought, I rather go buy that and live a happier life.

If laws are all that will be required, there should be no murders in the world. And no crime either. There had been, and still are enough laws to stop all that. But I could not but recall the 3000 year old teachings of Lao Tze in that Taoist Bible , the Tao De Ching Verse 57 which go somewhat like this

The more laws and restrictions there are,
The poorer people become.
The sharper men's weapons,
The more trouble in the land.
The more ingenious and clever men are,
The more strange things happen.
The more rules and regulations,
The more thieves and robbers.

Or the more laws we have, the more law breakers and criminals that we get.

I do believe only if wild caughts are legal and sustainably regulated that the people living with the birds in the wild will find it meaningful to protect them to be sustainably culled as their long term interest. The treatment of legally caught wild birds will be that much better and more humane as those birds represent real value and not something to be hidden in the corner or buried in a sack.

And not cook them in the pot and sell the heads, or shot and buried in a corner of Australian field.

We should think too of Père David's Deer.

The deer went extinct in China, eaten by rampaging soldiers and peasants. Luckily some were taken ILLEGALLY to the West for exhibition and survived. To be returned back to where they came from.

Then we have the Przewalski's Horse.

Which went extinct in China and Mongolia. Luckily some of them were elsewhere.
And now the Przewalski's Horses are back once more in China and Mongolia.

And what about the Spix and Lear Macaws. While captures contributed to their demise, it was more the degradtion of their land through farming and cattle ranching that caused their extinction in the wild. They were clawed back from extinction (which is final) because those who had them gave them back to organizations for captive breeding and hopefully later release in suitable areas.

Recently in the BBC, I read of

Where Plant hunters' legacy help Japan's threatened species.
When Japan opened its borders in 1854, plant hunters flocked there in search of exotic species, illegally collecting.

The British tradition of collecting plants from all four corners of the world means the UK is now home to many Japanese species which are under threat or already extinct in their native land, a study reports.

So those card carrying banner waving denizens of NO WILD CAUGHTS, please give me a break and do try to think instead of just wildly waving your banners.

You have seen with Yingshiong that he was orignally a wild caught who came to me. When a top breeder of shama, David Souza, got to know that I wanted to see if Yingshiong would fly to me and be a companion, he took pity on that intention as during that time, even bred male shamas would not fly to humans. David had the kindness of his heart to offer me one of his young bred shama instread. That is almost like offering a Ferrari to replace a Honda. His waiting list was at least a year long and would normally sell for USD4000++

But Yingshiong was with me already for a couple of weeks. And I could not morally give up on Yingshiong regardless of that very tempting offer. Will it be right to give up on your 2 or 3 or 5 year old birdie to have better chance with a chick?

Shamaism - Contact with YS made and meeting with Chief Guru David

and the offer made and so painfully decided against by me
Table manners

I had a chance to do with a bred shama. If you click above and see what I declined, I would not fault you if you think I was not right in the head. I felt there was such thing as fate. And if it was fated that Yingshiong was to be with me and given to me first, I could not turn him out and away from me.

But I just could not do that then, or now, even if folks thought I was not right in the head to turn down such an incredible offer.

My next wild birdie that lived with me was not looked for , or even thought about. The chronicles of Riamfada in the Sultanate of Oman made it very clear. Riamfada, that wild caught grey came suddenly onto me.

So it was not as if I deliberately looked for wild caughts. It is that I do not turn away from them as impossible to work with either. I work with what ever that come to me, as intelligent sentient that I was or am lucky to be with.

I would have actually stayed away from wild caughts if I had not met the most incredible man, that bird whisperer, Mr Lin of Tsaolin.

The Lins by side of notice of animals halfway house
The Lins beside the notice of beastie/birdie halfway house at doorway of their house.

Mr Lin took care of injured birdies that were brought to him as he served as a birdie halfway house. Who then decided to stay on with him as friends. Those wild birds pooped in his garden, fly back through open windows into his house when he called them to play with him. Use Mr Lin as role model as what to aim for, not me!

The letters on that bird whisperer of Tsaoling

The letters on that bird whisperer of Tsaoling are below in chronological order. They are all in Part 1 - Early Period of Tinkerbell.

The visits covered a period of time as can be seen from the date of the letters. You can see in between the 2nd and 3rd visits the additions to the birds of that bird whisperer.

He, that bird whisperer of Tsaoling, is the man that inspired me the most. If I had not the fortune to met and know him, I would not have the courage and inspiration to try with wild caught birdies at all.

If you have not done so, try to find the time to read
That was when he opened my third eye as to what keeping birdies were all about.


More photos in Flickr folder Jackie - Getting to know me

Jackie and Jackie Mash

First of all, my apologies for the bad mental maths in last report.
His weight should be 357 - 170 = 187 grams when he came to me and not the 167 grams that I wrote.

I related how I chose Jackie as he seemed so bold when in the cage in the shop holding me in his eyes unlike the other hill mynahs who backed off from eye contacts with me. He further stood his ground on his perch even as I moved slowly nearer to him, unlike the others that backed off, hopped off their perches and moved to furthest corner of their cages.

I thought it would be natural that he should open up to my overtures soon enough.

But I was wrong.

In the first few days with me, getting him to eat was about the only thing on my mind. After all, I do expect any sentient to be fearful and shy in new surroundings. Later on when he started to eat first on that chicken feed and later on the combo of 1/4 chicken feed and 3/4 kitty/Libai mash as well on the fruit mash, seeing that he ate was enough to satisfy me.

He remained aloof. Never flying scared and all over like Oberon. But Jackie kept his distance. Moving or hopping to the back when ever I approached him.

When I went back to the shop, I asked for his background and where Jackie came from. The shop was very reluctant to tell me. Saying he did not even care to ask the supplier who brought him over as the less he knew the better. But he told me Jackie and others were wild caughts. That did not surprised me that much. From all I read of Hill Mynahs, apparently breeding them was not easy. Perhaps not much known of their diet. I felt it an overclassification to care them frugivorous, implying eating of ripened fruits only. When it was also known they ate insects, lizards and frogs. Hill Mynahs are also known to raid other birds nests for eggs and fledglings when kept in huge aviaries with other birds. Saying they are frugivorous and saying they eat lizards, insects, eggs and fledglings will be like saying that person is a Vegan and that person also like steak medium rare and roast pork from time to time.

Since fruits do not ripened all the time in the wild, and loads of other beasties and birdies love the ripened fruits, hill mynahs have to be opportunistic feeders or they might starved before the next fruit tree ripened.

In other words, Jackie had to be an omnivore if living in the wild.

But he was not taking the meal worms hard as I tried, that I recalled my Robusta liked. But I was happy enough that he started to take chopped chillis mixed with the mash or fruit mash. I used to give that to my Nias Robusta and I recalled he loved chillis and chillis good for them. It is strange that chilli peppers developed in symbiotic arrangement with birds. Birds are not affected by the Capsaicin in chillis that stopped or repelled mammals. Bird's digestive tract passed out the chili seeds undamaged. But I still find it strange that is true even for Old World birds such as Mynahs even if chillis came from the New World.

Red chilies contain high amounts of vitamin C and carotene (provitamin A). In addition, peppers are a good source of most B vitamins, and vitamin B6 in particular.

I focused on Jackie eating well first since he started eating. That he should get from me whatever he lost since his capture and in other hands before he came to me.

I noticed he likes the perch on top of corner of cage. So I made it better by fastening a thinner stick on top to give different size grip for his feet.


The fruit mash with 25% kitty mash was very splattery and I kept his bowl on the perch.


I quickly had to lessen the mess caused by his flicking his beak by having splatter guard from A4 plastic folder protector.


Ivan periodically join us in the flight room. Ivan was much more laid back. It is of crucial importance that beasties must know Jackie is family

In time, Sieben will join us as well.



Jackie would not let me approach him closely. So of course, the process of getting him to approach me had to start.

First onto the table.


I changed the plastic bath to a bigger blue plastic basin for him to bath in.


And was I ever so glad he loved that perch on top of corner of cage. As there was where he did about 90% of his pooping.



That was about one day's worth. On 1/4 chicken feed and 3/4 mash mix. At about 100 grams a day. And 60 grams of fruit mash mix. Most of the rest done on papers under the cage door. If you think that was enormous, I should have shot photos of his poop on 100% chicken feed.

So the chance remarks I read of others with hill mynahs as being very messy were not exaggerated. When I had my Robusta, he was in a huge steel cage with open mesh bottom over my garden. I simply hosed that now and then into the grass underneath. That was a long time ago and I could not remember, especially sordid details like his pooping. I guess if hill mynah is kept in a small cage, the poop can be truly messy.

I kept Jackie mash in the fridge next to the kitty mash. They looked almost alike. One night I fixed the kitty dinner, Of 140 grams mash, 50 grams raw pork mince, 10 grams of chopped wheat grass, 10 grams of dried anchovies, 90 grams of wet cat food and 40 grams of kitty kibbles (because my wife insisted! which from time to time, I plain forgot to add, ha ha ha)

Ivan and Sieben sniffed at it. I thought they were not hungry and that they would eat that over the night. To my suprise the next morning, those 2 hardly seemed to eat what I gave them.

It was when I started to prepare Jackie's meals that I realised I used Jackie mash instead of kitty mash for my poor kitties. My kitties just refused to touch those chicken feed contaminated mash.

I decided there and then to do a real Jackie Mash for Jackie.

So it was on Sunday 23 Oct I did just that.

500 grams of sweet potatoes
400 grams of carrots

Both parboiled 5 minutes to soften them first and cooled to be grated.
70 grams of ground nuts
70 grams of quinoa
( I always wanted to add quinoa to Tink Mash in the past. Look at the amino acids in them. I felt that compensate the iron in them)
70 grams of rolled organic oats
70 grams of rolled organic wheat berries
70 grams of rolled organic barley
70 grams of glutinous rice
70 grams of red rice

No need for blender as no beans involved.

All that boiling for 10 minutes and added 2 baggies of kitty mash at about 750 grams.

And presto, 8 baggies of Jackie mash! To be kept in freezer of course and a thawed baggie in fridge.

Out of morbid curiousity, I did dinner for the kitties, 70 grams of kitty mash with 70 grams of Jackie mash and the rest you know. To my delight, those two horrid kitties loved their dinners. So should I mistake one mash for the other next time, it would not really matter too much. Those 3 love them and they should not keel over because of them.

With Jackie mash, I decided unilaterally that Jackie be fed 60 grams of Jackie mash per day. That alone will be 30% of his body weight. On top of that, Jackie got about another 60 grams of fruit puree with 10% of Jackie mash mixed into that.

That 60 grams was weighed at 10 grams / bowl , to be fed to him each time I entered his flight room to show him I am a guy who cared and feed him. Except he had to come closer and closer to me. And his poop got to about 1/3 of the mess you saw. As expected with no chicken feed and almost all digestable and used by Jackie instead of pooping right out again.

Such as from table, to the chair. And chair closer and closer to me.
He would fly from his favourite corner perch


To door perch


then to the rim of blue plastic basin


and to books, with plastic mat on top for grip, and tied down as Jackie was heavy and skidded about which was why I had to improvise landing station for him.



That special feeding station would fit so nicely on top of scale some time in future to let me know his weight.

I have utterly impure ulterior motives to take all the trouble to make landing strip for Jackie to eat from.

More photos in Flickr folder Jackie - Getting to know me


plug for Formosan Blue Magpies

You recalled I wrote of this Taiwanese guy who took incredible photos of the stunning Formosan Blue Magpies that I so love in

Tinkerbell Summertime2011 - Before visitting her // Sieben // Formosan Blue Magpies & Molly

I wrote then
I just got to add this into the entry

On 18 July after I finished writing this, Chen Hung wrote to me of a Taiwanese Nelson Liu who documented his observation of Blue Magpies breeding on a tree opposite his house. With fabulous photos of the blue magpies even if you cannot read Chinese

And another of his blog entry on blue magpies

Go on there and be thoroughly amazed by his photos, some of the most beautiful flight shots of blue magpies!
Use Google translate to read his last blog entry. And read of his misery with mosquitoes attacking him while he shot those wonderful photos! His captions on the photos were tongue in cheek and will give you a laugh too.

Nelson Liu turned that into an iPad app and withdrew those articles.

App 名稱 :“Photo Book of the breeding of Formosan Blue Magpie” , 中文名稱為 「台灣藍鵲繁衍全紀錄」,但在App Store請您用英文 "Blue Magpie"搜尋本軟體
請點下列連結或是從您iPAD app store搜尋,關鍵字 "Blue Magpie"。


1. Documented the breeding of a Formosan (Taiwan) Blue Magpie.
2. Dual Language support - All texts and descriptions are presented in Chinese and English.
3. Included 100+ photos and video clips.
4. Plus extra bonus of 30+ beautiful birds living in Taiwan.
5. Photos shown in the articles can be enlarged by tapping it


封面 ‧ Cover
Chapter 1 :緣起 ‧ Prologue
Chapter 2 :台灣藍鵲簡介 ‧ Introduction of Formosan Blue Magpie
Chapter 3 :藍鵲現蹤 ‧ First Show-up of Blue Magpie
Chapter 4 :築巢與孵蛋 ‧ Nesting and Incubating
Chapter 5 :覓食 ‧ Prowling
Chapter 6 :雛鳥孵化,開始餵食 ‧ Feeding Chicks
Chapter 7 :離巢 ‧Leaving nest
Chapter 8 :離開樹林 ‧Leaving the woods
Chapter 9 :後記 ‧ Epilogue

I told him I will write of that here. I told him I would have been happy to buy that except I do not have iPad as without USB port, I could not make use of thumbdrive to transfer files. I am a real novice in clouds and all.This is what he wrote to me to say.

Thanks anyway. The purpose of making them to an App is not to make more money but looks for other way to publish what I've written. iPAD is a great platform allowing me to realize publishing rich media content. I knew that you expect that the tablet should have usb port for thumb disk. However, as a heavy user of iPAD, I don't see any problem without USB port. Especially it goes to Cloud.

Well folks, I hardly plug for anyone, other than Gerald Durell Wildlife Trust.
I have seen his photos before. They were incredible. If you have iPad, you will not regret getting his app

Perhaps I might go buy iPad and see what iPad is all about and perhaps go on and do an app like Nelson.


LiBai mash making.
About 300 grams of beef mince, with 200 grams of chicken mince and 150 grams of dried anchovies(for the calcium). That was all done up to the kitty mash formula I wrote about in
Pakistan//Tinkerbell Kitty Mash//Dommie at the beach Ramadhan 2010 //Villa walkabout 2
Instead of the almond and brazil nuts, about 100 grams of human grade groundnuts(peanuts) were used.

Making of Tinkerbell Mash
Morning with Harry & the decision// Sultan of Oman Palace// Tinkerbell Mash Batch 7

suri - Read "Conditioning clicker day 3 - and some tips on suris"

milli - read "Found the perfect treat and Yingshiong first "step up""

if you forgotten about clicker training

Tinkerbell Legacy - VH parrot and Clicker Training Rant 06

Some thoughts on clicker - The initial experience with Tinkerbell

Clicker training and bonding with Tinkerbell

To Shanlung-Charlie and clicker training

Charlie and clicker training - beyond touch target //LiBai on finger and in slow motion videos —



Read Riamfada free flights in villa // And around neighbourhood for explicit details

If what I wrote help you and you like to help, give a thought
for the wildlife sharing our planet.
Do write that cheque to Gerald Durrell wildlife trust

I am a life member of Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust. Do join us to do
whatever we can for the wildlife that shared our planet.
or to any wildlife conservation body of your choice

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