In 2021, Begawan released three breeding pairs of Bali Starlings in Melinggih Kelod Village area. As part of our commitment to preserving the existence of the Bali Starling in the wild, we continue to release birds. Prior to release, we need to survey the release locations, socialise with the local community, and install tags for the birds that we will release.
One of the methods of identification that we have mentioned in several previous newsletters is the microchip. A microchip is a small device that has an identity like an ID card for humans. The microchip is implanted between the skin and the flesh of the Bali Starling. This does not cause the Bali Starling to be in pain and does not interfere with the health of the birds. We received our supply of microchips from Trovan Microchips Australia.
The process of inserting the microchip into the Bali Starling is carried out by our veterinarian, Sugiarta, with the assistance of our bird keeper, Kadek. The first thing our bird keeper does is catch the Bali Starling in its enclosure, then our vet will prepare to implant the microchip. The feathers will be trimmed slightly to give the needle access and once it is ready, our vet will sterilize the needle by spraying alcohol and then implanting the microchip into the Bali Starling. After the microchip is in place, our vet will spray an antiseptic to prevent bleeding and then massage the injection site.
Birds that have been implanted with the microchip will be scanned using a microchip reader to see if the microchip is functioning properly. After that, the birds are given tags in the form of coloured cable ties to assist our staff when bird monitoring. Then, the birds will be released back into their enclosures for further evaluation to see whether the implanted microchip has been installed properly or not. We wait for the wound to heal properly and then when the time that we have chosen as a suitable release day comes, these birds will be released. Stay tuned for our next Bali Starling release in the next newsletter! (Mastika Anandam)