shanlung (shanlung) wrote,

Tinkerbell on motorbike // Jackie, the Greater Indian Hill Mynah and his treats


Tinkerbell on motorbike

On a forum a while back, I posted a photo of Tinkerbell on motor bike.


Strangely, Tink never put the claw in her jaw other than when on the motorbike. During the first chapter living with her or in my many visits back to Taiwan to be with her.

To a comment that the claw in the jaw might have been a kind of nervous reflex, I then posted this. (with some extra remarks added in Livejournal on the videos)

But first the warning.


It was a motor scooter 150cc and not a motor bike even though I often wrote of it as motor bike. But enough photos were taken to show that.

The reason why it was a motor scooter was that there was this space between the handle bar and the seat where her carrier cage could be kept between my feet in case of bad weather.

I actually yearned for a Harley Davidson that the roads of Taiwan begged me to buy and I wanted to buy. But the scooter was the ideal Tink Mobile that the three of us were on almost daily. And in the weekends, were on rides that lasted for hours. I knew I never would ride without Tinkerbell, and so I nyet that Harley that I set my heart on and stuck with the little scooter.

The placing of toe in beak in the case of Tinkerbell was never a nervous reflex. Perhaps it might be in the case of your birdie, but definately not in the case of Tinkerbell.

If Tink was nervous and did not like it, she would not have wanted to be on that bike. I believe all who have a grey knew of the impossibility of having a grey do what it is nervous of and did not like.

The photos you took exception to such as reproduced below were static shot.




She was doing the above for her amusement. She flipped from one to the other and back again repeatedly. Perhaps video would have shown that much better. Except 7-8 years ago, digital cameras were not video oriented and neither were forums , and neither the internet for that matter oriented to video sharing. So video were not taken.

The towel that you see above was not just to catch the poop. The towel acted as a ladder for her to climb down to the space between my leg onto my backback , and even into the carrier cage as she chose and as she wished.




When I was riding very fast, that towel down to out of the wind area was meant for Tinkerbell.

I thought that when I rode very slowly and sedately, Tink might like to be on the perch.

Instead , it was the other way around.

When I rode slowly, Tink moved down as if it was too boring for her to be up there. And when I rode very fast, Tink loved to be up to feel the wind on her face and body and do her antics up there.

That was so irritating to me until I learned not to be irritated at the perverseness of Tinkerbell. That after all, she is a female and regardless of beastie or birdies or spouse, females all have this perverse streak running through all of them.

You might like to see even more photos of Tink on the bike in the Flickr folder

Tinkerbell - Reunion

And even to read the story behind those photos in that particular saga when we went back to see her beasties, Halftail the Bimbo (cat) and Zorro (the ferret) that I gave to the wonderful families that adopted them when I had to leave Taiwan.

And talking of Tink on her bike, there was this photo that I liked, and wrote on in a forum about that time that I reproduce below. Taking that photo from my wife collection. She took all the photos anyway and only some photos were hijacked by me into my Flickr.

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa aaaaaaaaaaaaaa

Wings of an angel
May 20, 2004

Last weekend over the 15/16 of May, we went up Alishan
again to escape the heat.

Tinkerbell is now so accustomed to riding on the
motorbike that she faces all kind of direction when on
that perch including with her back to the front.

The on-rushing wind on her back lifted tufts of
feathers giving her the look of one of those tufted
back bird of paradise (name escaped me).

Or as Joy liked to described, the wings of angel.

That URL
Tataka, YuShan (off Alishan) album

Now and then, Tink doze off on that perch with her
eyes closed.

I lamented that Tink took to ripping off the towel
velcro from the bike velcro to amuse herself,
especially when the bike is moving fast which is not
so amusing to me.

I found a new distraction that seems to work. I buy a
corn on the cob and cut that to small pieces. Now and
then, those pieces are offered to Tink for her to eat
and tear to shreds when on the bike.

Below different shots showing how Tink Mobile is like and you can see the carrier cage and backpack .

I wrote somewhere of the explicit harnessing details to maximise the safety when Tink was on the bike. But I could not find it as my writings during the time of Tinkerbell were haphazard unlike the reports on Riamfada.

DO NOT JUST TIE A STICK LIKE YOU SEE IN THE PHOTO AND POP YOUR BIRDIE ON TOP! A lot of thoughts on safety aspects and worse case scenarios went behind what you see above.

And this is one of my favourite photo of Tink on motorbike. Where the 3 of us were in that same photo when most of the time, it was me with Tink or Tink alone.

In Taiwan, at holiday places, scooters were rented saving folks a long ride or drive as they can just pick a scooter then and there. I carried with me coils of sisal ropes to quickly rig up a perch as can be seen in photo.


Tinkerbell at Chipeng

I located a few of the videos of Tink riding on motorbike taken by my wife and uploaded onto Youtube.
For all they are worth. Just a few seconds shot.

Video taken approaching the arch that marks the entrance to Bantianyan, with Tinkerbell riding on the scooter. Tinkerbell flew off that afternoon. The story is at

Tinkerbell on the scooter going up towards Bantianyan on the 26th of December. She spooks that afternoon, and is truly lost on the 27th. We leave Taiwan without recovering her, and she only returns to the Yus on the 16th of January 2008.

At one point we pass this sign with a spiral on it. This is where the first sighting of her occurred on the 31st of December, but we didn't believe it as she'd flown off by then. The road at that junction leads towards Zhuqi, and posters left there led to her recovery.


Jackie, the Greater Indian Hill Mynah and his treats

I had thought Jackie was a Java Hill Mynah, Gracula religiosa religiosa. I had been looking at the photos of the different hill mynahs. But retention of what I had seen and what I saw in the shop was difficult. And no matter how much I looked at the photos, without the bird then, I was at best a guy standing outside and peering into a window. It is not the same when you actually have the bird with you. The shop told me it was a Java Hill Mynah. I do not think he was trying to con me. Its just that he might not even know the difference.

As for me in that shop, I was looking more at state of health, no deformaties, state of mind, state of feathers and state of spirit. Besides, hill mynahs looked almost alike when you did not have a hill mynah yet. Nias hill mynahs are different. They are just HUGE.

The other day at a Malaysian bird forum, HCL wrote that I might have a Gracula religiosa intermedia instead of the Gracula religiosa religiosa that I thought I had.

With his note, I did a check and knew straight away he was correct.

In fact, when I first brought him back and weighed him at 186 grams, I thought that was a bit on the light side as Java hill mynahs should be about 220 grams. I thought then that he was young and perhaps that accounted for the weight.

A check on facial features of the different Gracula religiosa on Internet told me immediatly that Jackie is a Greater Indian Hill Mynah, a Gracula religiosa intermedia.

I thought with Jackie coming to perch on my finger and hand to eat his mash, the ice was broken. I told my wife Jackie should be able to do that with her too and persuaded her to wait on Jackie. My wife was delighted. So she went into the flight room with the bowl of mash.

But Jackie stayed on top of the cage, or on the bottom door perch of the cage and refused to fly over to my wife.



I was wrong. Jackie was flying to me ,and prepared to land on me. He was not prepared to do so for my wife. I felt so sorry. LiBai landed on my wife and liked my wife. I mistaken hope for reality. Perhaps later on Jackie might unbend to my wife.

I was also trying many different kinds of food to see what could served as a treat for training. You all know I am very reluctant to withhold staple food to induce any kind of training. That smacks of using food , or withholding of food as a threat.

I had tried using meal worms. But Jackie turned up his nose at the meal worms. I disguised the meal worms in his mash. He ate all the mash leaving meal worms. I drowned meal worms in the fruit puree mash. Jackie took the meal worms out and flung them to stick onto the splatter screen. I left a bowl of meal worms in his room, thinking perhaps in morning before I woke up and feed him, he might feel peckish enough to try that and get to like meal worms.

Jackie instead prepared to wait for me to wake up to feed him and left the meal worms alone.

I bought durian, a most wonderful fruit, the king of the fruit. The taste is like ambrosia and worthy of the gods. That said, I felt so sorry for Andrew Zimmern that he could not stand and could not handle durian. You remember the other food he could not handle was the stinking fermented tofu of Taiwan. And you all know I love that tofu with my soul as well. Andrew lamented he tried and tried durian, ten times he tried, and he gagged and ran away each time. So his failure was not from lack of trying. I just think his palate was not refined enough or his soul not great enough to appreciate just how wonderful and delicious durian could be.

Durian was not cheap either. Good durian cost as much as good toro sushi. Yet I bought durian in attempt to tempt Jackie. Jackie did not scream and gag from the durian in the style of Andrew Zimmern. The durian was in the mash bowl. Jackie took the mash first and then the durian. That was repeated a few times, enough to show that he liked durian, but not to the point I could use that to entice him.

I bought crickets. I placed a few crickets in the mash bowl. He ate a few mouthful of mash. Then he took a cricket. Followed by more mash. Then the cricket. I was feeling very sorry for myself.

Then my wife eating her breakfast while waiting for Jackie to hop to her started to tear tiny pieces of bread to add to his mash bowl. When my wife left the room, Jackie flew to the mash bowl and ate the bread first.

I was amazed! Simple brown bread. Torn to little pieces. Jackie ate that prior to the mash.

I felt a bit sad and sorry for Jackie. He could have demanded durian, or crickets or something more exotic and I would have given him that. But simple pieces of bread? I felt he sold himself too cheaply. But who was I to complain? At least I found a treat he liked, and I could withhold from him to give sparingly as treats.

I was not going into clicker training with him yet. He need to get more and more onto me and accept me as a friend first before I start on training.


You know the room and most of the stuff in the flight room was configured for much smaller birds than Jackie. From the kindness of my heart, I felt the bath tub used for Yingshiong, Libai and Oberon was too small for Jackie. That was why I bought a bigger blue basin for Jackie to bath in. But Jackie did not seem to like that basin. I had to remove that blue basin for the little plastic container used as Yingshiong and Libai bath tub. Jackie immediately resumed his bathing in that tiny tub.


As Jackie kind of accepted me, I decided it was time to weigh him. Not a few times a day like what I did with YS or Libai. But once in the morning before his feeding.


That started on 10 November at 178 grams.
On 11 Nov was 183 grams
On 12 Nov was 181 grams.

Perhaps my first weighing of him when he came to me was not correct. I could not believe he was heavier on chicken feed and chicken feed better for him than Jackie mash. If he was heavier, I like to think he was pudgy and fat then.

Anyway, with daily weighing, I could easily adjust his feeding up. But then, when you all know he was getting about 60 grams of Jackie mash or 30% body weigh, and 60 grams of fruit mash (with 20% jackie mash by weight inside that fruit mash) , I hardly think I am under feeding and starving him either.

He took to flying to my finger to snatch the tiny piece of bread. And onto my arm to be given a tiny piece of bread.

Sorry about the photos. There were many more photos of empty air or finger that I just deleted.




I decided the kitty mash and Jackie mash are interchangable. I made another ghastly mistake. I only realised in the evening when I was looking for the kitty mash to fix dinner for kitties to find that gone. I used that for Jackie by accident. Only mash thawed was Jackie Mash. That I had to use for the kitties instead of their kitty mash.

All three of them enjoyed that mix up and had not keeled over yet.

I am running out of kitty mash and have to fix another batch soon.

That will be a batch for all of them and no more separate kitty mash and separate Jackie mash. Just too confusing for me and our small fridge to handle logistically.

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 —


(edited on 4th November 2011 to include below)

To Shanlung - How to do Free Flight Outside

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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