Tuesday, March 10, 2009

My Pied Bushchat(2)

The Pied Bushchat is a small insectivorous bird about 2/3rds the size of a common canary. Looking much like a minature Magpie-robbin, its song and display are also largely similar. It is found from Soviet Central Asia in the north to Indonesia in the south, living in the in open areas of grasslands and scattered forests.

The species available in Singapore are likely to have originated in Indonesia or Vietnam. Those from the latter country are slimmer than the Indonesian variety and are more in demand as reflected by the one-third higher price that the hobbyist can expect to pay.

The Pied Bushchat is a low flying bird as can be seen from the fact that its builds its nest on the ground or close to it.

It is a cheary songster to have in the home. My Pied Bushchat is not yet in top form but it sings often, especially in the morning and evenings. By often, I mean every few seconds or so. The song has 2 to 4 notes. While sounding similar to the Magpie-robin, it is not as loud and it is higher pitched.

Its small size means that its housing quarters need not be large and it will be happy in a cage that is slightly larger than that which usually houses the Oriental White-eye.

The Pied Bushchat is territorial and will defend its "territory" against other bushchats. Whilst the song is pleasant, it is the display of the Pied Bushchat that makes it attractive to the hobbyist. Those that are kept by hobbyists are likely to have been kept from a very young age. They tend to become very tame and unafraid of humans, reacting to the human hand as though it was another bushchat.

These small bird tends to eat as much as the shama which is twice its size. They are active and even when they have a little form, they will constantly flick their tails up and down and rapidly flap their wings even when they are on the perch. They will also readily fan their tails and when in top form, can be expected to do their displays along the length of the perch and also be active about the cage.

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