Mackneen, The Unknown Bird

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The Mulet, The Unknown Bird.

 We all know the saying; “ It Depends on the mules”_Seen or heard on TV, with a big laughing talk show.
That is, the Mulet, is a hybrid of a breeding an ass with a mare. But it exists also in breeding birds and dogs of different kinds together.

 In Algiers, Algeria, people, and more particularly the people, aficionados of birds breeding, they call it a Mulet; it’s  a hybrid bird resulting from breeding  a Canary Female bird and a male goldfinch, the chardonneret élégant, a Mediterranean passerine of the Carduelis family.  

Contemplating Extinction

Due to a savage poaching and chasing specimens, especially the goldfinch and tracking it into to its ultimate refuge by the poachers in that purpose, in addition to the disastrous effects of urbanization; the unlimited need of lots of land  for construction had forced the City admins to declassify the agricultural terrain into urban design purpose, which change the configuration of the rural countryside into cities and housing projects, hence it had gradually led to an environmental disaster, in which The goldfinch disappeared completely for the back country and even from the  landscapes, of orchards and vineyards, in to even from the backyard of your house. You can only find it nowadays as a caged bird in a zoo. or the botanical gardens. Both the canary and the the goldfinch are either imported within pet trade or brought from abroad by smugglers, since it’s banned from exotic species export admins 

 In the purpose to bring to the attention to people and especially the youth, I want to say here, that is,  even though you keep your bird in a cage as a pet, you are contributing  to the disrupt of the natural population, the flora and fauna, the precarious habitats of all the systems, either by isolating one of the elementals species as pollinators.
So, I borrowed a poem from below. As the climate change slogans and disappearing species become a an urgent matter for discussion about the protection of the environment, and  in order to contribute somehow, a little bit to the solutions to problems, on my own way by blogging about the Algerian Goldfinch 

Here’s the link to the poem

The Unknown Bird

Three lovely notes he whistled, too soft to be heard
If others sang; but others never sang
In the great beech-wood all that May and June.
No one saw him: I alone could hear him
Though many listened. Was it but four years
Ago? or five? He never came again.
Oftenest when I heard him I was alone,
Nor could I ever make another hear.
La-la-la! he called, seeming far-off—
As if a cock crowed past the edge of the world,
As if the bird or I were in a dream.
Yet that he travelled through the trees and sometimes
Neared me, was plain, though somehow distant still
He sounded. All the proof is—I told men
What I had heard.
                                   I never knew a voice,
Man, beast, or bird, better than this. I told
The naturalists; but neither had they heard
Anything like the notes that did so haunt me,
I had them clear by heart and have them still.
Four years, or five, have made no difference. Then
As now that La-la-la! was bodiless sweet:
Sad more than joyful it was, if I must say
That it was one or other, but if sad
‘Twas sad only with joy too, too far off
For me to taste it. But I cannot tell


Posted in Endangered species, Discover-Prompts, Poetry, Goldfinch, Birds, chardoneret, Environment, Goldfinch, Mackine, Birds, Algeria, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Art isn’t Anectdotic, but it is

What are Friends 

I have a couple of friends, not too much, just two or three, that they still sticking around with me, the other is far away.
One of them is my pet, Mackneen, The Algerian Goldfinch, it has been a companion for me since childhood, it is the witness of all my 400 coups, and more my confident for my secrets, chagrins, joys, and pains, failures, and success. It was always him that shared  my moments

I know, you may say that a bird doesn’t leave longer than a decade, I agree with that, since it was the parent for the pedigree or the lignée, wich I started the breeding with, so it made sense for me then, to name the following new breed after the parent’s name ; Mck I, Mck II… I had less pain and sorrow for the loss of a pet, since I always taking care of the siblings, with that time spent in a cage ,  taken young from the wild it became a domesticated bird,  so to speak, as it grew older.

The anecdote is, sometimes, I forget the door of the cage open, while I was cleaning the cage, filling the jar of water, and the feeder box with seeds, totally absorbed by the task. At first, it made its way throughout the cage, then , to the ramage of a cherry tree, in the backyard. He stood there for a while on a branch, sleeked his feathers, clipping his claws with his beak meticulously, taking its time twiddling with his fingers and spreading his wings at large wingspan. Then , he flung to the Heaven his contented glee, as though sinning raucously its triumphal cri de coeur, a longtime contained anger between the fold of his chest; finally he got delivered. He shakes once more time his plumage, then flew back in a flight, in an  atmosphere of joy that circumfused the celebration,  right  to threshold of the gate. He perched on the still, as a sentinel of a gate. Since then, the gage door stayed still opened. He flew now and then from there to the top of the cherry tree. When the fruits ripped, I used to climb to highest limb of the tree, to crop the fist cherry, he usually picked on it, and  we disputed. I knew then it was time for harvest. He passed away few years later.
The cherry tree still blooming years after years, but the  disappeared from the region, due to a savage urbanization, that changed the landscape, and it topography, of shrubbery area, of thistles seeds,  its preferred food with ponds and rivulets and shady pine trees, that constituted its natural habitat, to highways, and housing projects, the sewage  took place of the canals, and culverts. It was the death of a region, once called The Fahss, in the suburbs of Algiers, the Capital of Algeria.

The other friend is a book, The Legends of the Fahss, it’s sort of, The Legend of the Fall, and A River runs through it, combined into an Algerian way of life style, in the last century, that  I am writing since five years, it’s a saga, I hope to finish editing it , sometimes soon,  if the circumstances permitted.
The third friend is my wallet, I try to keep it well fed and happy it  always gives me back when I needed the most. Like to say; what friends stand for.

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El Macknine, the Algerian Goldfinch, Chardoneret Parva

“Happy Anniversary with!” They said to me
Oh! How sweet! And bien àpropos, It has been 9 years since I started my fist blog, and posting with, so by the way I say:
Thank you to WordPress team for notifying me with this trophy

Now! My calling: hear it! 

(Ps: you are not obliged to listen to it till the end!
It’s so tweety, and it last too long.)



My Calling: on the making; If It is the last thing to do, It would be that one:

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings_Maya Angelou

I know why The Caged Birds sing, ah me,

when his wing is bruised and his bosom sore
when he hit the bars, 
and would  be free;
it is not a carol of joy or glee,

But a prayer that he  sends  
from his hearth's deep core,
but a plea, 
that upward to Heaven he flings

I know why the caged bird sings

Watch this page

No, it’s not a joke, and it’s not an April fool, too. Though,  I had published this blog 9 years ago, it is  like if it was of yesterday, and even though, I renew my call, today: Let save the Algerian Goldfinch Mackneen.

Spring is here, and it is breeding time for El Makneen, the Algerian Goldfinch, like for billions of birds species on earth. Makneen is a nickname, one of  the  like for Tweety, the famous  Canary bird in a cage, with Tom the Cat of Walt Disney Toons, you know. As true as Cats are considered as the cleanest animals; The Nickname_”El Mackneen”, was given by an anonymous aficionado to the goldfinch because of its behavior of all day long taking care of its lit’le being feathers cleanness, bathing, and tremulously chirping, that is, besides the choice of its  prefered food of seeds, small insects  and fruits. Then,  It is the beloved pet in Algeria; for, imagine in Algiers, a city of ten million souls, a million  birds, each one in its own cage, and in each house per habitat. It’s a madness, not March, not even  an April foul.

Longtime before that, since the 20′-30’s, it was Ragtime then, in the States, Les Années-Folles, and Coco Chanel embodied that very well, and so, its was a hobby of sort then of a life style, that chic people, and  artists affectionately had a caged bird as pet a Canary, ever in Europe, or elsewhere. Then, in Algiers, Algeria, at that time, there were artists of Chaâbi Blues Music, Algerian singers, and part of  common people, as well, they had a special preference for the Goldfinch as pet.

Its became a symbol of Freedom, when Algerian people struggled for freedom, and  the Liberation of the country. Since,  El Baji, an Algerian artist and songwriter, as he had written the well-known song”El Mackneen-Ezzine” in prison, during the War of Algeria against France for occupation of the territory, in the time of the colonies era, that was  in the late 50s, after that all means of pacific claims of human rights and proposals were evacuated. So that, to get information from prisoners, the agents interrogating prisoners used all sort of expedients, and tools to make them talk. He was imprisoned and tortured_ He got inspired, then. Hence it was in vogue the French saying:”sing canary, sing.” That when  his jail guardian said this to him.

After the Independence of Algeria, in the 60’s, the Chaabi was blooming, due to the freedom of living, unraveled from the twine of curfew and all sort of restrictions; people literally explode of joy and envy of life. Plain-air concerts, musical soirées, weddings, ceremonies of all sorts took place in the evenings of Algeria. The Mackneen songs became the favorite themes for love songs, separated lovers, and longing for beloved ones, after it has been the hymn to Freedom.Then, the Châabi music_a Blues genre, dropped down off from the interest of people, in favor for Ray Music, a Reggae like, that took over and shadowed completely the Chaâbi for decades. The little bird fella, all in all, became a pet like any another, and then, the breeding business  took over the  artistry and poetry, of savoir-vivre. In short, the bird was tracked in its utmost environmental habitat, to the farther and wildest and isolated place, with nets, and glued thin sticks, put around ponds, and shrubs, to capture it alive.

Like I said, in the beginning, the Goldfinch, likes to bath and clean itself ever since in a while, and has a prefered shrub from which it extracts the seeds. That for, the braconeers look for that place, to dress their nets and traps cage around. While  the newly hunting enjoyment becoming a profession to the extreme limits, that is, it became now a protected species by the law. Because,  it is at risk in to extinction. There were_ lachers of birds, a free to flight of wild  chicks game, for its renewal breeding in  the fona, each year after a hunting season. I wish it will be done the same for the Mackneen, and it would exist an association for the protection of the Mackneen of Algeria, and the Mackneen would be the symbol for Algiers, the City emblem, and in its armories.

The caged bird sings
with a fearful trill
of things unknown
but longed for still
and his tune is heard
on the distant hill
for the caged bird
sings of freedom.

—The final stanza of Maya Angelou’s poem “Caged Bird”[67]

Of  distant hills and vals of Oued-Roumane, Algiers, they exist no more,

and of  the Algerian Goldfinch, his tune is to be heard but none

_”You may say I am a dreamer,

but I am not the only one”._John Lennon

Pour Les Amis du chardonneret d’Alger,

for the heck of it, please get some guts, and free the lit’le dude from its cage.

Say hi to Ouled el Houma

Posted in Goldfinch, Birds, chardoneret, Environment, Goldfinch, Mackine, Birds, Algeria, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment