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Tinkerbell Legacy - Living with a flying parrot

more correspondence with Benjamin and with YS today

20th February 2006, 10:02 AM

Hi shanlung!

in fact i shud call u uncle shanlung! i'm only 19 this year! thks for sharing. these info will surely aid me in keeping this very unique species.and on my part,i'm being challenged to do the same for my other shama as well. like wad u said in yr previous post, this can be done my any of our fellow forumers. i guess its matter of wether or not the hobbist is willing to spend more time bonding wif his/her pet. having said that, i must admit that i have overlooked this area in the past. also, i saw u asking me the name of my shama. sad to say i havent been in the habbit of naming my birds. but anyway i'll start naming my bird hence forth. thks for your reminder!

i've noticed that my bird despite having shown signs on its legs of being an old bird, its behavoir is very much contrary. whenever i am abt to feed him crickets, he'll flap it wings like a baby. wonder if its because of the previous owner's diet or the bird itself being very attached to human. but got i got a strong feeling its abt its previous diet of having being served large amount of mealworms each day. what do u suggest?

anyway, many thks uncle shanlung for your generous sharing. i will update u soon on its progress. hope to hear from u soon too!

Yesterday, 11:45 PM


It is my pleasure to share all that I have done with Yingshiong with you and all others. If your shama is to be your companion and your friend, he should have a good name. And who knows, one day you have to call his name to turn his head to you so you can execute that recall cue for him to fly to you.

Before I started with Yingshiong, I think very few, or none, thought shamas can be bonded with people. You can even read in some of the earlier comments made by other people in the journal who doubted avairy birds like shama can react positively to people.

With what I have done, I hope people now will accept that we get what we put in. If you put in love and affection, you get it back as you have seen with me and Tinkerbell and now with Yingshiong.

The training is a two way process. Allow yourself to be trained by him as much as you train him.

If you do not have the weighing scales, do be careful that you do not overfeed the shama. That is so easy to do so. You agree an overweight anything is not going to be as healthy as he should be. It is so easy to give and give. I have the greatest difficulty to make myself stop giving as you have seen from the daily reports. But from the weight, I know that I must do so.

As for your shama acting like baby while being feed crickets, I do not really know as I do not know the entire background of your shama. All I know from the many conversations with top experts that if a baby bird is removed too early from its parents, that baby bird lost that important period with its parents to become a true bird with negative impact later. I seen in too many birdshops little baby birds are being sold and bought way too early. If the demand is there, that demand will cause that kind of supply causing baby birds to lose that important growing up at least to past weaning stage with their parents.

And the sad truth is you do not need hapless baby birds to bond with them. Yingshiong is old when he came to me. Tinkerbell was over 6 months when she came to me. Can anyone here doubt that Tinkerbell and Yingshiong did not bond with me? And you have seen the records with Yingshiong. Getting an older bird to bond with you is not that difficult if you have love and dedication.

Yingshiong sings at least 2/3 of the time, from soft singing to loud singing to full territorial singing. I have never kept shama in a cage before. Can you and others reading in tell me how much singing do shamas do in their cage? Are they singing much of the time? or are they quiet much of the time?

As to the diet and signs of aging on the legs, I will hesitate to blame the mealworms.

The most important aspect of any diet is that the diet must be nutritious and balanced with natural vitamins and stuff a bird need. If only mealworms are fed, and as people feed mealworms only with oats and sometimes bran, the mealworms might not have enough wholesome nutrition to make them nutritious enough for your shama. You seen what I gave my millis, suris and crickets. They eat better than many shamas or parrots so it is not just their guts are loaded, even the tissue in their body is loaded.

I hoped I have provided enough details as to what I feed YS and the insects he feeds on for you to do even better than me.

I will be most happy if you and any others outdo what I have done, whether for parrots or for shamas.



It was 10am when weighing was done (blame that useless alarm). And before that, YS was bribed and given backrubs on the cage door perch, and on the fan. Even did a few recalls with a very responsive YS.

I then watched the TV with YS flying over and over me in great impatience for the main session.

It became clear why he was so responsive as he was at 31.7 gm and MM at 37.9 gm. Food played a part. I must stress that part might not be that big. If food is that important, why did YS flew and ran away from my wife waving the millis, or from my friend CM desperately bribing with suris.

Perhaps it was also at 10 am when he might be more responsive anyway.

The milli was at 24.8 gm.

So at the fan again, it was backrubs and a light body squeeze prior to the recalls. He was so responsive that he responded in anticipation.

Session ended with milli at 24.4 gm

Then it was to the PC room that YS joined me in a short while. We had our usual session of semi fun and play and training.

I needed to leave early so he went back at 11 am. YS was at 32.3 and milli at 23.8

I got back late and almost had to go out again at 345pm. YS was at 31.3 gm. I agonised over that and decided to give him 39.2 MM in case I could not get back before he slept. Milli at 23.6 gm

I got back at 645 pm with a short time before darkness. The MM was at 38.4 and YS at 32.7 gm. It was clear just how energy rich was the MM given to YS. I almost regretted leaving so much for him as I was hoping to get him to 32.5 by night. And since I was back, how could I not do recalls with him and feed him even more than I should to get him to 33.0 gm by 7 pm. Milli was at 22.4


Note: Normal weight range of shama is 28 - 32 grams
from the information below .



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


or to WWF or other conservation bodies of your choice

MM - mixed mash , from YSM 60%, Claus (food for insectivore birds)
20% and Sinlin 20% (local commercial food for shama)

YSM - Read "making of Yingshiong mash"

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

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

Yingshiong songs are in

She made more toys and took photos of those new toys for YS and the way YS was playing with them.

You can see that in folders

Yingshiong beady toys


The descriptions and captions of those photos will be lost if you use the slideshow, so it may be better if you see those photos one at a time.

If you liked the photos of Tinkerbell and Taiwan, most of those photos were taken by Joy with my camera.

For even more photos ot Tinkerbell and Taiwan, you should check out Joy's other folders in


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