Jeffrey Low

Friday, May 21, 2010


Every once in a while, we will come across a freshly wild caught male shama that although still bashing around wildly in his cage, will 'chai' fiercely when he is brought into the arena. Such a newly wild caught is described in our local term as having his 'mountain fire' (form from the wild) still intact.

A very dominant and in-form male shama in the wild, that has his gonads (testicles) fully enlarged and his testosterone at peak level, is at a stage when he is almost fearless and most willing to take risks. Driven by the super high level of testosterone within him, he will readily confront any intrusions into his territory or challenge the most threatening of situations to establish one, with little to fear. His super high form at this stage will see him often disregard the risks of injuries or death during confrontations. Birds at this stage are often seen to be bold enough to come out into the open to confront approaching trappers from low hanging branches, in reaction to the whistling from the trappers or the sounds of another shama played from taped recordings. I have even heard of one that had such super high form, he had for a short while, sang fiercely while in the clutch of the trapper's hand. (This bird died during the long journey to a buyer who is a friend of mine).

Upon being captured and despite the ordeal, the form and the level of testosterone of a bird in this stage may not recede immediately. He may still be able to perform impressively in the arena, as he would in the wild because his super high form is so overwhelming that for a while, not even the frightening ordeal of being captured and the fear of the new environment could affect the 'mountain fire'. This form that may sometimes be carried over from the wild is however, usually short-lived when the bird is taken into captivity. It is only a matter of time before the overpowering fear of a new and threatening captive environment will sink in deeper and suppresses the 'mountain fire'. 

JudasPriest - Reckless