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A Noni Farm Tour Exclusive: White-Rumped Shama

By: Lola Frailey Wednesday November 28, 2018 comments Tags: Noni farm tour, hawaiian wildlife, free noni farm tour

Basic Info

Native to Southeast Asia, the white-rumped shama (Copsychus Malabaricus) gained popularity as a songbird/caged pet. Formerly classified as a member of the thrush family, the white-rumped shama actually belongs in the muscicapidae family.

Did you know? The muscicapidae are small insectivores who catch their prey “on the wing”.

The white-rumped shama typically weighs between 1-1.2 oz and are 9–11 in long. Their long tail enables the white-rumped shama to change direction at a moment's notice. Males have a glossy black nape and back with a chestnut belly and white feathers on the rump (hence the name) while females are greyish-brown.


The white-rumped shama are territorial. The territories usually include a male and female during breeding season (males defending the territory), but each sex may separate territories when they are not breeding.

The voice of this species is rich and melodious making them popular cage birds in South Asia. White-rumped shama enjoy mimicking other birds.

Did you know? In 1889, one of the first recordings ever of a bird singing was from a white-rumped shama.


White-rumped shama breed from April-June laying a clutch of four or five eggs. During courtship, males try to woo the female by shrill calls and fanning tail feathers.

The female builds the nest consisting of roots, leaves, and ferns in the hollow of a tree while the male stands guard. The eggs are white to light aqua with brown blotching. Egg incubation lasts between 12 and 15 days. Juveniles have a greyish-brown colouration, similar to that of the female.

Life in Hawaii

Introduced to Kauai in 1931 by Alexander Isenberger, Oahu in 1940 by the Hui Manu Society and Maui in the late 1900s in an effort to supplement the native population.

Their popularity as a cage bird has led to many escaped birds establishing themselves. Compared to Asia where their habitat is dense undergrowth in bamboo forests, white-rumped shama tend to nest in undergrowth or low bearing trees throughout the Hawaiian Islands.

On our Farm

Meet Dylan (aka Dr Dolittle), Duke, Daisy, Dylila, and Dexter!

Those who have taken the farm tour will remember Dylan, the young man that helps me with the tours. He has an amazing ability with animals, like Dr. Dolittle. Five months ago, Dylan began working with a wild White-rumped Shama bird that lives in our valley. Dylan has named the bird, Duke. Shama’s are very friendly and inquisitive. He began whistling and talking to Duke, over the months, Duke began taking food from Dylan. Now on the Farm Tour, Duke flies out of a Noni tree, lands on Dylan’s outstretched arm to eat out of his hand!! Everyone loves it. Last Friday on the Tour, Duke’s mate – Daisy landed on his arm and ran down it to eat for the first time!

As you will see in the below video captured on the Farm Tour, the whole family take turns landing on his arm, running down to his hand to eat. The new born chicks are Dylila and Dexter. That’s right– we have Dylan, Duke, Daisy, Dylila and Dexter. Enjoy the video as it is pretty amazing!!

Enjoy the videos of Dylan! We welcome you to see them in person at our free Noni Farm and Wellness Tour.




Lola Frailey

About the Author: Lola Frailey