Kamis, 12 Juni 2008

Yohana's Finches

Darwin's finch is that of Galapagos Islands. Yohana's finch is the Java finch (Padda oryzivora) . We people here call it gelatik, perhaps due to its rapid chirp that rhymes with tiktiktik or chipchipchip. Yes, its their song that makes them popular as cage bird. but it's also their plumage that makes them threatened.

I love them. I remember when I was a child I had 3 or 4 of them. Papi and Mami bought them from Pasar Burung Malang. I was thrilled to handle the brown paper in which they were. So we put them on a cage, hoping they'd breed (Papi made a wooden box with hole entrance, upon my request). We fed them with husked rice or plain white rice (husked rice costed higher back then). I cant remember their fate, but i do remember one escaped.

Their white cheeks, red bills, and black faces really made me excited. Too bad, my presence always alerted them. I was a bit disappointed because i hoped they'd behave the way their long gone cousin had treated Yohana, my mom.

You know, one day when Mami was very young, she was given a baby gelatik. She fed him, took very good care of him that they became good friends. One day it escaped and Mami felt very sad. The next day, it returned to its cage! So they continued their happy coexistence until a sad moment.

Mami still resents the fact that he was stolen but what she taught me is to take care of any pets and animal with great care.

I have just checked one article: gelatik is now a threatened species due to habitat loss and extensive trappings for sale. It makes sense because if you go to bird markets, gelatik is sold with relatively high price.

One day when I have my own house, I will build a big cage and put Yohana's finches inside.

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