Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Bird-watching – a new hobby?

The baby bird is seen for the first time. It must have been hatched in recent days

THe mother bird with an insect in its beak and the baby bird opening its beak expecting to be fed.

The mother bird flew in again with what looks like another insect.

This time the mother bird had something that looks like a berry or cherry. It appears the baby bird is a voracious eater.

Birds had always fascinated me. Even my blog heading is indication of my inclination towards the feathery kind. Nothing prepared me to what happened this morning though (June 01,2010). It was a rare occurrence, a rare opportunity.I had a chance to snap pictures of a mother bird feeding its young all at my front porch.

I’ve been told there’s a bird’s nest just outside the house. It was pointed out to me a few day’s ago but I didn’t give it much attention. It looked empty anyway.

However, this morning my domestic helper called out to me, excitedly ‘ Bapak, ada burung!

I rushed down and had a glimpse of it before it flew out again. I then rushed back to get my camera and stood at a strategic corner where I could see the nest and waited.

I waited for the better of 15 mins before I heard the chirping sound of the bird. It grew louder and it suddenly jumped into sight. I froze, careful not to reveal my presence. I had never stood still, upright and quiet this morning ( not since those days on the parade grounds back at the College) It was painstakingly a stiff neck posture holding the camera with unsteady hands.

It jumped about but still not nearer to its nest, apparently to make sure the coast was clear.Then suddenly it jumped into my camera’s sight and I just clicked and clicked. This happened for quite some while, it bringing little tit bits for the baby bird and I snapping every so often.

I recognize this bird. It is a ‘merbah’, not an exotic kind but an edible one. It has a crown which keeps moving when it chirps. Its lower abdomen is yellow in colour.

My late father used to go bird-hunting with his buddies before. They used air-guns with pellets the shape of a bell made of ‘timah’ (lead ) a little bit bigger than the size of a 'kacang hijau'( green beans)

The merbah birds were the most popular target. There were green pigeons and some other birds as a well. When the bounty was brought home I used to help out picking the feathers. They were tiny little things. They were cut up into 4 thumb sized pieces deep-fried , chili laced and very crunchy. I have not tasted any wild bird meat since then. Those were the days.

The air-gun? I was not growing up quickly enough to be bequeathed the air-gun. It was apparently passed over to one of my late father’s friends. I wonder if they still do bird-hunting these days.


abdulhalimshah said...

Dear Hank,
I wish you all the best in your new hobby. I do not have the patience to wait for the bird to perch and do the photo shoot.

kaykuala said...

Dear Hal,
Actually it was an unexpected opportunity. It may not happen a second time, ever.