|White Rumped Shama, Bristol Zoo (male)|
Shamas are secretive birds of dense understorey and bamboo, where they feed on various invertebrates and fruit in season. They make their nest in tree hollows, and in captivity will use a half open fronted nest box. The clutch size is usually 4 or 5 eggs. The chicks develop rapidly, and usually fledge at around 14 days old, and can feed independently by around 24 days. They go through a post-juvenile moult from around 60 days, after which they resemble the adults.
|White-Rumped Shama (female)|
Shamas are long-lived birds, and a life expectancy of over 10 years is not uncommon. In South East Asia, where they are popular cage birds, the general belief is that they do not reach their full potential as songsters until at least 3 or 4 years old. This probably reflects the time it takes for a young bird, especially a male, to find and defend a territory good enough to attract a female and breed successfully.
The popularity of Shamas as cage birds in South East Asia is very high, and local societies stage regular competitions with sometimes over 100 birds entered. Most of these will be wild caught and imported birds, but they are also bred in captivity by hobbysists. In view of their large range, the species is not classed as endangered, but some of the subspecies with a small range, especially the island forms, may be at greater risk.
(images taken by me, also from wikipedia)