July 22, 2006

yellow-vented bulbul - 02

part 1

[050706] more of a tail:


had begun to eat mealworms whole, but only by grabbing them off tweezers inserted into its gaping mouth. 10-Q to little sunshine for e worms & soh tar pia advice =) also ate cooked rice & birdfeed pellets (for bulbuls, from Tanjong Katong Nam Seng bird shop) softened by mixing with a little water.

left it to deal with a whole banana - with skin peeled off one end & underlying flesh mashed up - & soon it learnt that not all bananas come on satay sticks & got e hang of pecking for food on its own. also discovered e joys of bathing. wasn't easy getting it to stop splashing around - never seen a bird happily get itself so soaking wet. afraid that it might catch a chill, e cat's mum towelled it dry....!

to get it to sleep at night, had to carry it into e fish tank, cover it with e lid, turn off every single light on e ground floor & then creep upstairs quietly in e dark, so that it wouldn't try to join us. on some nights it chose to sleep perched on a ceiling lamp or within a trophy cup.

with a longer tail & hours of living room flight training, it could fly up to e curtain rod, which became its favourite perch. also started watching cable TV with e cat's parents, staying up late, & flying upstairs to look for us whenever we went out. first thing to do on returning home was to hunt for it so that it wouldn't be stepped on by accident, given how well it could be camouflaged on parquet flooring. would find it sitting on e stairs, beneath e coffee table, in between Buddha statues on e altar, within a trophy cup, under e sofa, perched on leftover CNY pussy willow, on a clothes hanger on e laundry rack, etc.

[060706] taken to perching on heads:


as well as shoulders, nape & laundry rack:


safe only when it hasn't eaten for a while, so that it won't poop on us. quite a few non-biologists (including a doctor) have suggested toilet training e YVB, but birds simply lack anal sphincter muscles - any unnecessary excess payload is offloaded immediately to conserve energy for flight ;)

part 3

[ filed under: nature1 + 9_lives_2006 ]

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