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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Shama pair (H3N1 and H2N1) 2010 Breeding Season

I'll update things happen to this pair in this thread for this 2010 breeding season.

02/17/2010: The pair is introduced to see each other the first time.  The male is in bamboo cage and he can see his mate in her aviary.
02/19/2010:  Introduce the male into the aviary.
03/01/2010: Observed the female starts to carrying materials to build the nest (coconut fibers, dried bamboo leaves, small twigs, etc...)
03/03/2010: Observed mating of the pair around noon.
03/08/2010: I think the female is already laid some eggs, but don't know for sure.  Saw she enters the nest a few times in the morning, each time around 30 min long.  At night, she still sleep outside so if there are some eggs inside the nest, it probably less than 3 eggs.
03/10/2010:  Tonight is the first night the female sleeps inside the nest which means that she starts to incubate her egg(s).  Judging from last year experience, there are probably 3 eggs inside already and first hatching should be on 03/21/2010.  Woot!
03/21/2010:  Eleven days have passed and no sign of hatching yet.  Hope they will start to hatch by tomorrow.  There might be a delay in hatching due to environment temperature since outside temperature was on the cool side (upper 60s, low 70sF) for the first few days beginning of the incubation process.  Average temperature the last week is about 75-80F day time and night time is about 52F.
03/22/2010:  There is at least one egg hatched this morning.  Saw two half empty eggshell on the floor, one from each end of the egg so it could be just come from one egg, or could be from two eggs and the rest of the eggshells are missing.

03/23/2010: There is at least another egg hatch today.  Saw total of 4 half eggshells which is guaranteed that there are two chicks (maybe more! haha....)

03/24/2010:  No new egg hatch today since I did not see any empty eggshells on the cage floor.  Judging from the feeding intensity of both parents, I say that there are only two chicks in the nest.  Hope I'm wrong! haha....
Sad news: In the afternoon after come back home from school, I saw one dead chick on the aviary floor.  Don't know the real reason why this one dead.
04/03/2010:  Two chicks from the first clutch emerged.  Looks like one is male and one is female.

The female chick is above.  The male chick is below.

04/06/2010: Observed that the female is starting to rebuild her nest.  Few coconut fibers, small dried bamboo leaves are carried by her to the nesting site.
04/07/2010:  Around 6:45PM, observed that the pair is mating.  Second batch of eggs is coming soon! :)
04/09/2010:  Tonight, the female sleeps inside her nest.  This means that she starts to incubate her eggs.  Wonder how many eggs she lays this time? Any number of egg is good enough for me, hehe... Expect hatching date April 20th and April 21st.
04/21/2010,: Twelve days of incubation has passed and no sign of hatching.  I'm starting to worry as this pair consistency had chicks hatched on eleventh days of incubation last year.  Wonder outside temperature (particularly lower temperature than ideal) can greatly affect the development of chick inside the egg which cause the delay hatching?
04/22/2010:   Still no hatching sign.  Chance that this pair have babies from the second clutch is pretty slim now.  The question now is what cause it?  I won't know and might not know the real reason at all until next week when I collect those unhatched eggs (if no eggs hatch) and open it out to see if whether no fertilized, chick died in the shell, or ???
04/25/2010: After 3 day out of town trip, I come back home on Sunday's afternoon and after feeding all the birds, I were surprised to see this pair kill few crickets and bring up to the nest. This is the great news as it means that there is one or more chicks inside the nest. The chick(s) must have hatched on 14th and/or 15th days. Viewing the food amount that the parents bring to the nest, I would assume that there would be at least two chicks inside. I'm a happy man after thinking there would be no chicks on the second batch from this pair few days ago.
05/04/2010: One chick (look like a male) came out of the nest today. This means that this chick must be hatched on 04/23/2010. There are few more chicks inside the nest, probably two more.
05/05/2010: Two more chicks (look like male and female) came out of the nest today. Total 3 chicks from this second clutch.
05/09/2010:  Observed the pair mate at around noon today.  The female makes a short call to signal the male and raise her tail up.  The male then almost immediately flies down to mate with her.  The whole mating process is very short with the actual mating is about a second long.
05/12/2010: The female is sleeping inside the nest today. I don't know if she slept inside the nest since yesterday or not (I didn't come out to check), so I just assume that first incubation night is today. Expect new batch of babies hatch on 05/23/2010.
05/25/2010: At least one chick hatched on 05/24/2010. The father shows some aggressive sign to chicks of previous clutch (second clutch) so I begin to catch three chicks from second clutch out. Normally, I usually leave those chicks in the aviary until about 8 or so days after the next clutch hatch to ensure that the young chicks are fully wean and learn lot of other things from their parents. I believe that when young chicks learn social interaction between their parents, they will become great parents later on.
06/04/2010:  One chick left the nest on 06/03/2010.  Three other chicks left the nest today.
06/05/2010:  To my surprise, the Fifth chick left the nest early this morning bring total of 5 chicks in this third clutch.
06/21/2010:   Forth clutch of the season.  One egg hatchs today.
06/24/2010:  Yesterday, two days after the first egg hatched, I found one chick died on the aviary floor.  Again, I don't know exact the reason why this chick dead, but I would just assume that mother nature takes her course and this chick just too weak to survive.  "Survival of the fittest".
06/27/2010:  I make a mistake today that almost kill the rest of the chicks today.  While training for two months old young male shama to learn his song,  the volume on the CD is just little too loud than normal as I forgot to turn down while playing some music on previous day.  After turn on the CD, I left the house to go to the supermarket.  When I come back about 45min later, I saw the male shama H3N1 acts very aggressive with tail flick up and down, flying from branches to branches, and sing very loud.  He also attempts to mate with the female H2N1, but unsuccessful as the female fights back.  After I realize that the breeding shama pairs can hear the song on the CD from the other side of the house, I turn off the CD but it was too late.  The female H2N1 probably just too scare from all the chasing from her mate that she did not attempt to fly up to the nest to check on her chicks despite the chicks keep calling.   The father H3N1 do feed his chicks, but once every two hours while the chicks keep calling almost nonstop.  After observe the pair for several hours, I decide to intervene and get the chicks out to hand raise them.  In this fourth clutch, the female laid 3 eggs, 1 died a day or two after hatched, and two survive until now.
Keep them warm in the incubator and feed them every half hour or so.  So far, this two chicks will have good fighting chance to survive and hope that I can be a good father to them! :))
07/05/2010: One chick died due to de-hydration.
07/11/2010: Other chick died due to some kind of disease (wet eyes)
07/14/2010:  Fifth clutch hatched.
07/23/2010: Total of three left the nest in this fifth clutch.  Looks like one male and two female.
08/09/2010:  One of the chick of the fifth clutch (female) died few days after left the nest.  Sixth clutch begins to hatch today.  This might be the last clutch of the season.


  1. Congratulations from me too! Thanks for taking us each step of the way. I am very excited for you.

  2. Thanks anh Tung and Jeffrey!

    Jeffrey: Hope you are successful in breeding your long tail shama pair this year and have lots of babies! :)