Thursday, July 17, 2008

Taimongs: Tail Length

A note on taimongs

Be aware that an unscrupulous seller of taimongs may pull out the taimong's primary or long tails knowing that when the new or adult tails grow they will always be longer than the taimong's tails. The inexperienced buyer sees a taimong say, with 7" tails, and he buys the bird as he thinks he is getting a fantastic buy. He expects substantially longer tails when his bird molts and receives an unpleasant surprise when he finds that the tails after the molt are about the same length as those that his taimong had.

Take a look at the tails of the taimong below.

You should be able to see that the feathers of the tails seem to match those on the other parts of the bird. This tells us that the tails are genuinely taimong tails. The taimong's tails are usually brownish to match the body feathers. If the tails are dark and especially if they have some shine to them, the tails are almost invariably not taimong tails.

You will also see that the visible parts of the primary tails appear to be semi-transparent. From this we know that the bird is "thin-feathered" which is a very desirable quality in a shama. The thicker feathers make the bird seem bulky. Such birds are also slower moving and less likely to have a good display.

The head and neck are of the type that I look for - a well proportioned head on a slender neck. The taimong also has a cocky look about him. You can't really see his legs but they are long and this makes the bird look more elegant.

Years ago, I asked John Yim how I could assess the loudness and aggressiveness of a male shama if he is not singing. He said that I should listen to the tek tek sound the bird makes. The louder the sound the more aggressive the bird and the louder the song. On the basis of this test, I would say that the taimong is very aggressive. I have heard it sing and I think its song is developing very well. This is of course not surprising since there are many teachers in my home that it can learn from.

All in all the taimong looks promising but we will only know after the molt if it fulfills its promise. I will try to provide an update.[/b]

For those of you who are still looking to acquire a taimong, I hope the above helps.

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