Thursday, December 19, 2013


This video of Skyhawk was recorded yesterday evening, 3 days after the competition in which he took 2nd place.

He seems to have recovered remarkably from the stress of the competition but his inner beak, while darkish, is still not completely dark as it will be when he reaches top form.  I expect that his form will continue to improve and he may reach top form in time for the competition on 29 December 2013.

Looking through my records, I find that Skyhawk hatched in June, 2005.  He is therefore about 8 1/2 years old.  Shamas reach full maturity and their competition prime at about 4 years of age so he is past his prime for competition. He is now less active in his display than when he was younger.

Apart from a less vigorous display, Skyhawk hardly shows his years and can be mistaken for a bird that is less than half his age. Look, for example, at his legs and toes and you will see that they are smooth and missing the scales that even a 2 years old shama may have.  Skyhawk's lack of scales on his feet is completely natural as I have never removed (or had the need to remove), scales from the feet of my captive-bred shamas. Skyhawk's youngish look and ability is an example of what can be achieved with proper selective breeding, care and conditioning.

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