Friday, September 12, 2008

Birds for Sale

11th September 2008

It has been an exceptional shama breeding season and I have a few birds for sale. I have stopped all further shama breeding for this year.

If anyone is interested in purchasing the birds that are available for sale, please email me at If you provide me with your name and telephone number I will contact you. Please note that the birds are for local sale in Singapore only.

I seldom have any birds for sale and this is a rare opportunity to own a shama bred by me. Next year, I may not breed at all as I presently have had enough of breeding shamas. Even if I do breed shamas next year, it is likely that it will only be with one or two pairs of my favourite males to obtain their progeny for myself. There is no intention at this time to mate Icon next year so it is unlikely that there will be further chicks from him for sale.

The available birds are as follows:

# A Medan type male shama that is a really good singer. Like the best Indonesian shama songsters, it has a melody that is twice as long as the average Malaysian bird which sings shorter songs as it also needs to display. This shama will be sold at the price S$700.00 which is my cost. Photo below:
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# A Chestnut-capped Thrush (Anis Kembang) that sings the whole day. The price is S$800.00 which is also my cost.

# A very few male Shama taimongs (juveniles) bred this year. The chicks are mainly from the Icon pair. Their progeny were so exceptional last year that I had a repeat mating for them this year. Their offspring this year are excellent and may surpass the quality of last year's chicks. Photos taken at random of some of this year's offspring this year can be seen in the photographs in this blog. There are also some photos on the Malaysian Forum under the thread "Videos and Photographs" from page 65. His offspring last year includes Longbow whose photo is below.

12th September 2008

The response to yesterday’s post has been overwhelming. This is the first time I have personally offered birds for sale and I was somewhat surprised at the demand. It far exceeded the available birds. I now have the difficult task of deciding who the birds should go to.

I will respond personally to all who sent me emails but I think it is useful if I say something about how I choose my birds for sale and my criteria on who they should go to.

I must confess that my earlier strong desire to breed shamas has cooled. This is partly due to the great success I had this year and the resultant workload imposed on my wife and helper. As I stress over and over again to people who urge me to continue and expand my breeding program, I am not a commercial breeder and have no wish to turn my home into a breeding facility. This is why I have mentioned that I may not breed my shamas at all next year.

This year, Ballet Dancer had 5 chicks, 2 of which were bred by me and belong to me. Both are males – DDS203 and DDS204. It had previously been very difficult to breed him as can be seen from the fact that although he is more than 6 years old, apart from Gifted and Samson (now deceased) that were bred in his first year, I have had no other offspring from him. Both DDS203 and DDS204 seem equally promising. I may need to part with one of them eventually but this will have to be after the molt as both are now molting with tails of about 2”.

Then there are the 2 male chicks from William’s wild-caught male shama that Michael bred and gave to me. I need to keep both to outcross my birds to vary my shama gene pool. They will probably need to be returned to Michael eventually.

There are also 2 male offspring from Icon that are presently molting with tails of 2” to 3”. Whilst I may eventually part with them, this can only be after the completion of their molt since their tails will probably spoil if they are taken at this time.

There is one offspring from Icon this year that I presently intend to keep. He is DDS225 and Jeffrey Low is looking after him for me. Together with the chicks mentioned earlier, I will probably end up with a total of 4 to 5 chicks from those bred this year.

There were only 2 males from Icon’s 5th nest and there also seem to be only 2 males from his 6th nest. The 2 males from the 5th nest can be sold at this time but those from the 6th nest will need to wait a few more weeks.

When selling taimongs, I prefer to sell all the males from one nest rather than sell the birds selectively. This avoids any misunderstanding that I have kept the best for myself. For instance, there were only 2 males in Icon’s first nest. DDS206 went to Taufik and DDS207 went to Jeffrey.

I would prefer to sell young birds only after their juvenile molt. They will then have learnt their songs in my home where there are many tutors. Taimongs should go to homes where there are singing shamas. Otherwise, their songs may not develop to the full potential and there could be misunderstanding on the song ability of captive bred birds. An important criteria for me therefore when parting with a taimong is that the new owner must have songbirds that the taimong can learn his songs from.

I now come to price. My price for taimongs is based on roughly half the price of my adult males. As can be seen by posts from others on the Malaysian Forum, the asking price for wild-caught or captive-bred male shamas with 12” tails is S$10,000.00 or more. Since I have put special effort into breeding my shamas over many years, it will be appreciated that I value my birds as being entitled to command a top price.

In pricing my taimong at about ½ the adult price, I take into consideration that I am giving no guarantee as to how it will turn out. It is not possible in any event to give a guarantee since the manner in which the birds are kept will have a great effect on their development. The buyer therefore takes a risk when he buys a taimong and this is reflected in the price. All that I can promise is that the taimong is from a particular pairing and the rest is left to the buyer.