Friday, April 10, 2015

Letter from Honolulu

Eric Dagner's email to me of 5 April

Apr 5 (5 days ago)


I came across your website searching for a white rumped shama 

I would like to share a story with you for insight or to add to your repository
collecting information. 

A few years ago I was clearing an area of land of garbage in suburb very
near downtown Honolulu.  The district is called Makiki on Oahu.  After 
spending some time clearing the land a very young male White rumped 
shama appeared probably just kicked out of the nest. He became named
as Kiki (Makiki). Kiki would come around while land being cleared gobbling
up black beetles, baby centipedes, grubs, worms, termites. moths, 
grasshoppers, fly larvae ect.   For the past 4-5 years I always thought Kiki 
was a female bird.  Maybe it is a male delusion to want to nurture a female.
lol.  As the trees, grass and weeds were being cleared the bird became
fearless of our presence.  Never tried to catch him or his offspring but could
have on many occasions.  I can rake over dirt today with Kiki perched less
than a foot away on look out for beetles and centipedes.  Kiki comes to the
house and demands to be fed (begging) but I love to make him wait to hear
what he has to say.  Sometimes even when there are 40 bugs running
around on the ground he would rather sit in the tree and just chat for no 
reason and that's okay too.

 I just very recently learned what kind of bird Kiki is, a white rumped shama
male, and came across your website.  Just wondering is this a common
relationship people have with wild White rumped shamas?  Or is the 
feeding, weaning of young, trust worth documenting? 

Thank you for your informative website.


David De Souza 

9:12 AM (0 minutes ago)
to Eric
Hi Eric,

I found your email of 5 April most interesting.  The white-rumped shama is 
less interactive with humans than its cousin, the magpie robin which is 
commonly found around the gardens of houses.  However, the shama 
can be lured out to the open by human whistles or recorded songs of 
shamas.  Unlike members of the parrot family that move in flocks and are 
referred to as companion birds as they readily bond with humans if 
acquired at the right age, the shama will not bond with humans in the 
same way.  Nevertheless, it is easy to gain their trust by offering food and
not making any attempts to trap them.

In Singapore, where I am, there are hardly any shamas other than those in
cages and aviaries.  Birds that escape are either trapped or eaten by
predators such as cats.

Your experience of having a shama that is at liberty sing to you close by is 
something that I am sure you enjoy and look forward to.  I am sure that 
people interested in the shama will be grateful if you share photos and 
videos of your relationship with the shama.

Best regards,

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