The mother of a master singer
The male of the white-rumped shama is a master singer in your monsoon garden! The song is a melodious jungle flute, somewhat resembling the common blackbird of Europe (observed once in Thailand). Curiously, although the white-rumped shama is said to be in Chiang Mai all year round, we see it more frequently in the cool season. Maybe some migratory individuals from China make a stop here at Dokmai Garden, or maybe Thai mountain individuals move down to the warmer Chiang Mai valley?
The male is conspicuous with its black head and breast, and a long tail. The female is much more modest in appearance (see the Dokmai Garden picture below). She deserves protection, as she is the mother of future master singers and a pest control consultant. According to the American Bird Conservancy cats in the US kill hundreds of millions of birds. The cat problem in Thailand is even more severe.
Text: Eric Danell
Photo: Janina Tomsett