Monday, March 30, 2015

Shama Competitions

I hope to use the shama competitions this year to confirm that my breeding programme is on the right track in all respects. I not only want my shamas to have good song and be beautiful with perfect long tails but they should also have the courage and stamina to compete with all other shamas. In other words, I would like to develop a line of super shamas.

Competitions are useful to assess the shama's courage and stamina. The present contests require the shama to sing and display over 3 preliminary rounds of 1/2 hour each and then a final round of about 1/2 hour or more. A shama that is lacking in stamina will not be able to last the entire competition.

As stamina is a requirement in the present contests, long-tailed shamas compete at a disadvantage against shamas with shorter tails because of wind-resistance, which I have mentioned before.

Nevertheless, I think the disadvantage can be overcome with a careful and selective breeding programme and proper management and nutrition that have the aim of propagating and maintaining a line of long-tailed shamas with the ability to compete in accordance with the present requirements.

There will be a shama competition at Kim Keat this Sunday, 5th April 2015 and I need to select a shama to compete. I intend to enter only 1 bird for the competition due to transportation difficulties.

I have several first molt shamas in good form that I can choose from. There is of course, Drumbeat, who was champion in the competition a month ago and whose form has continued to hold. There are also others, including Curve.

I took Curve out on Saturday with the intention of confirming that he can perform not only at home but that he also has the courage to perform in a strange place.

Curve sang in a forested area some distance from my home so he satisfies the basic requirement of not being intimidated when away from his home.  Here is the video of Curve that I recorded on my mobile phone. There is not much display as there were no shamas nearby that were singing and could challenge him.

Apart from the young birds such as Drumbeat and Curve, I would also like to try out Falcon (Drumbeat's father) in a competition.  He is one of my favourite shamas but until this morning, I had not thought of competing him as he has been more useful as a breeder and he is currently breeding.

This year, he has already produced some chicks that are presently being looked after by his mate.  There is therefore a small window during which he is available to compete and could be entered in the forthcoming competition.  However, my experience has always been that a shama that is being used for breeding will not do well in a competition.  Logically, this must be so since it already has a home to defend and there is no good reason why it should need to challenge outside its territory.

Nevertheless, my inclination is to take the opportunity to try out Falcon in the forthcoming competition before putting him back to breeding.  His father, Skyhawk was a champion and his son is a champion.  He should be given the chance to also try to do well. Even if he does not win one of the top prizes because he is currently being used for breeding, his performance could still help me to assess his character, courage and stamina.

I have the rest of the week to decide on the choice of a shama for the competition.

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