KOTA BHARU, March 21 (Bernama) — The sweet melodious chirping of the Red-whiskered bulbul, or merbah jambul or candik, as the bird is known locally, is enchanting, especially for those who love singing birds, as they wait for the day of the bird singing competition.
For owners of this beautiful bird, or Candik, as it is popular known among the Kelantan people, there is a special ‘care centre’ where they would send their pets to be groomed and trained prior to the competition.
And for Mohd Mazlan Ya, 61, he has spent more 10 years tending to this beautiful bird species. For more than 10 years, he has been looking after the pet birds which are sent by their owners to his shop at Bazar Tengku Anis, here,
“My shop opens at 7.30 am and around that time, my customers, most of them working, will bring their pet birds to my shop on their way to work. It is just like them sending their children to child care centres or nurseries.
“During that period, instead if me tending to children, I’ll clean, bathe and feed the birds, and their cages.
“After work, at about 5.30 pm to 6 pm, the owners will come to take them home.
“Most of the bird owners bring their pets to my shop because I don’t just bathe the birds and clean their cages, but I also listen to the birds’ sing and compare their chirping,” he said, adding that he takes care of about 30 birds every day.
Known as “Abe Lan” among his customers, he said there are two categories of merbah jambul that are brought to his shop, which operates from Saturday to Wednesday.
“The first category is those that are used to participating in competition and ready to compete. The second category is those which have yet to participate or still new in competition and need to be trained.
“That’s why my shop is open from Saturday to Wednesday because these birds need to rest on Thursday before participating in the competition, which is always held on Friday,” he said.
What is more special about Abe Lan is that the service he provides is free.
“I don’t charge my customers for my service in looking after their pet birds, but they can show their appreciation and gratitude by buying the bird food that is sold at my shop.” he said.
Meanwhile, president of the Persatuan Seni Suara Burung Candik Kelantan (PSSBCK), an association for owners of the Red-whiskered bulbul in Kelantan, Mohd Arif Mohd Yaacob, 55, said the Red-whiskered bulbul had to familiarise itself with the surrounding environment for it to “sing” well in competitions.
“In Abe Lan’s shop, there is a special place to hang beautiful bird cages. There are almost 30 birds at a time, the environment is like a competition and this will help the birds to familiarise with the environment at the competition.
“This is important because we want the birds to be familiar with the environment and not afraid of the presence of the people,” he added.