Bali Mynah - my first birds (74)
|Dear all, |
These birds were taken during my first bird-insect-plant trip last Saturday. Indeed, they are among my first batch of birds I have ever photographed.
I would like to thank all the nature photographers here at TN -your wonderful photos, comments, pointers and encouragement have inspired and encouraged me to take this very first step - beyond my original stomping ground of flowers, trees and sky.
about this photo, these birds were taken in the Edward Youde Aviary of Hong Kong Park, where an elevated walkway allows visitors to walk through the tree canopy and get really close to the birds.
Apart from the birds in the aviary, I have also taken some birds flying free outside the aviary. I will post them later this week.
I look forward to your comments and pointers for improvement. many thanks!
Bali is an Indonesian island located on the western most part of the Lesser Sunda Islands, lying between Java to the west and Lombok to the east.
The Bali Mynah is distributed and endemic to the island of Bali, where it is the island's only surviving endemic species. This rare bird was discovered in 1910 and is one of the world's most critically endangered birds. In fact, it has been hovering immediately above extinction in the wild for several years now (BirdLife International 2006).
The last stronghold of the species is at Bali Barat National Park; about 1,000 individuals are believed to be held in captivity legally. In fact, the Bali Starling is so much in danger that that national park has been set up just for the Bali Starling's survival. The wild population was at an all-time low of just 6 birds in 2001, after the late-1990s wild population of 3-4 dozen was reduced by poachers for the illegal pet trade.
There is at least one well-funded armed gang with access to bomb-making equipment and possibly inside information that raided the local breeding and release facilities in the early 2000s. In the attack the group maliciously shot and killed eighty-five workers. Only one gang member was felled by local authorities while the remaining suspects safely escaped. Continuing releases raised the number of wild birds to 24 by March, 2005.
The Bali Starling is listed in Appendix I of CITES. Trade even in captive-bred specimens is strictly regulated and the species is not generally available legally to private individuals. However, experienced aviculturalists may become affiliated with the captive-breeding program, allowing them to legally keep this species.
Male and female Bali mynahs look alike, having beautiful white feathers, black tipped wings and tails, and a bright powder blue crescent of skin around the eyes. Their heads are topped off by a lacy white crest of feathers. They are about the size of cardinals.
Poaching and timber harvesting are among the greatest threat to the survival of the Bali mynah in the wild. Conservation initiatives enacted over the past two decades to have been ineffective in increasing this species numbers in the wild.