Anytime you take a hike, you know it's just as much a sound experience as a visual one. Today's post highlights a bird that gives us both: striking plumage and a song to beat the band. The White-Rumped Shama Thrush, Copsychus malabaricus, loves a dense understory, and will flit among his territory following you as you trek on through. You'll hear him before you see him: a flute-like melody that is throaty and, well, loud. Then you spot him: the deep blue-black feathers that are so glossy, contrasted beautifully by a rufus chest and belly. They have a white rump, and undertail feathers. Females are similar but drabber. The tail itself is crazy long, and this helps the shama maneuver through the thick understory.
Whenever I see a shama, they are in the lower branches, or rummaging among the leaves strewn on the forest floor, searching for insects and worms. The shama is native to Southeast Asia, and was introduced on Kauai in the 1931. About a decade later it was brought to Oahu, and is now well established. Nests are built in tree cavities, where the shama mama lays three to five pale blue eggs splotched with red. Around two weeks later they hatch, and in another few weeks they fledge to fill our forests walks with song.
welcomes you to visit with the all the wonderful flora and fauna that we share this lovely aina with.