This bird is native to dense forested habitats in Southeast Asia.
They are primarily insectivores, with a diet of ants, insects, worms, maggots, caterpillars and grasshoppers.
The life of the wild shama is regulated by changes in the seasons – the wet season and the dry season which is between the monsoons. The breeding season runs from January until August and they will also moult annually at this time of year, allowing time for their new plumage to have grown thick before the next monsoon.
These birds can also mimic noises made by other species.
A clutch of up to 5 eggs are laid into a nest which has been built entirely by the female bird whilst the male stands guard. Both parents will feed the young, although only the female will incubate the eggs, which takes approximately a fortnight.
The species suffers from illegal trapping for the exotic pet trade. The Malaysian Forestry Department has recently banned the export of shamas and therefore the birds are not officially imported into Singapore from Malaysia.
- Latin Name: Copsychus malabaricus
- Class: Birds
- Order: Passeriformes
- Family: Muscicapidae
- Conservation Status: Least Concern
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