White-rumped Shama Thrush
(Copsychus malabaricus)

Range: Bamboo and evergreen jungle. Various races range from India, Ceylon, Borneo, Burma, Malaya, Indo-China and the Philippines.

Description: The 11″ male is dark and glossy. Head, throat, upper chest, back and wings are glossy black with purplish reflections. The rump, upper tail coverts and thighs are white. Underparts are a rich chestnut stage. The beak is black and the legs and feet are flesh colored. The tail has dull black central feathers with graduated feathers on the side boldly tipped in white.

The female is similar in shape but with a slightly smaller tail. She is drably colored in a rather dull earthy brown. Inmatures resemble females for some time.

One of the finest songbirds in the Orient, the Shama Thrush (Copsychus malabaricus) is a much sought after softbill. Males are wonderful mimics, making it essential to keep them away from turkeys and creaking doors. They are great bathers and their plumage is usually kept in immaculate condition.

Males are often aggressive during the breeding season, and should not be kept with small finches. The Shama is likely to become the “boss” of the aviary.

These are highly insectivorous softbills, their diet must include a good quality universal food and varied livefood (crickets, beetles, caterpillars, spiders, mealworms etc). They will also occasionally take hard-boiled egg and grated vegetables.

The female incubates her 4 to 5 eggs (which are dull green with brown-red mottling) for 13 or 14 days in a cup-shaped nest. The babies fledge at 14 days and can be sexed at 3 to 4 months of age.

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