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Captive birds in Vietnam

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Captive birds in Vietnam

Postby Michael » Wed May 12, 2010 5:20 am

As some of you may know, I'm currently traveling abroad in Vietnam. I get too much "free time" at the hotel, especially during the day when it is too hot to go outside, so I end up writing on here as a way to relax.

So I'm currently in Hoi An, a peaceful town by the ocean which once served as a merchant shipping town but has now become a popular tourist attraction. As I've been walking down the urban streets, I was surprised to hear lots of birds singing. This was especially strange because there aren't many trees in town. On the first night here actually I didn't think much of it but they were really singing this morning so I paid more attention and found the source.

Hanging cage in street
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It turns out that rather than having speakers with music like stores in the US typically do, they hang a bird cage near the entrance for decoration and music.

Symmetrically opposed cages in top corners
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I think the birds are kept more predominantly for their songs rather than their looks because the cages aren't necessarily placed in the most visible places. Many stores and homes hang them somewhere over the first floor entrance but in a way so it blends in and you just hear bird songs.

The guide explained to me that it is the locals' way of keeping in touch with nature in an urban environment.

Balcony full of different birds in cages
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Something I noticed was that the birds are very jittery and start hopping to the cage bars, back to perch, to cage bars, etc when anyone approaches. I think they still have a reflex flight instinct that always kicks in but cannot be used. Most of the cages only have a single perch, no toys, and just water and food. I don't know how these local wild caught species are affected compared to companion parrots.

Local bird store
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Which brings me to the local bird store. Walking around town, I bumped into this bird store and knowing me, there was no way I could pass this without taking a look.

Hill Mynah, complete with cage
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This was the first time I'd come across a Hill Mynah in person. It was wild caught and brought in from nearby Laos. Complete with cage, only $60. I bet they cost at least $1000 in the US?

Hill Mynah close up
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Now this brings us to the parrot portion of this article. I'm not aware of any wild local species but they had imported budgerigars for sale at an incredible bargain price of $3-$4. I wanted to know if they were bred or wild caught but this was too difficult of a question for them to translate and answer.

Budgerigars for sale in Vietnam
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Finally I was having lunch at a place with a lot of bird singing. Turned out they had about 10 strategically placed cages to form a surround sound sort of entertainment system.

Local bird in round wooden cage
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I didn't know the round "tweety bird" style hanging cages were still around or in real use but they sure are here in Vietnam. In fact they are made from wood to look more natural. They often hang them on trees and other hidden places to create a more natural place for the bird songs to come from.

Here's one in a round metal cage
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Re: Captive birds in Vietnam

Postby HyperD » Wed May 12, 2010 10:46 am

I feel sorry for those birds, seeing all those people come and go and be stuck in the cage with nothing to do :(
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Re: Captive birds in Vietnam

Postby MandyG » Thu May 13, 2010 3:05 pm

It's really neat how they have them everywhere, but I agree that it's really sad that they have nothing to do but sing.

Thanks for the update! I love hearing about other countries, especially their birds.
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Re: Captive birds in Vietnam

Postby Erithacus » Thu May 13, 2010 7:53 pm

The 1st pic is a Bulbul. It is a common bird in Malaysia. A good singer can fetch a good price.
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Re: Captive birds in Vietnam

Postby pchela » Thu May 13, 2010 7:59 pm

All of those poor birds just make me want to cry. I should not have read this topic. :(
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Re: Captive birds in Vietnam

Postby Titanius » Thu May 13, 2010 8:59 pm

Beautiful but sad considering how out of the way parrot owners go to make sure their birds are being well taken care of.But I guess if the birds in those cases aren't seen as companion pets and just a source of adding to the ambience their probably gonna be treated as such.
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