Its been a while since I last visited Yuen Po Street Bird Garden. My last visit as I recalled were just stores mainly selling parrots and “prayer birds” for release such as Japanese White-eyes, Munias and Finches, etc.
Yesterday, a visit to the bird garden exhibited more species for sale than I initially expected. An overwhelming 30 species of birds cramped in very small cages, many of which I couldn’t ID but some of which I could included:
Chinese blue flycatcher
Hill Blue Flycatcher
Black Crested Bulbul
Eurasian Tree Sparrow
It’s a miserly sight and very heartbreaking to see and definitely questions why Hong Kong resounding status as a World Class City still allows bird trade to exist and that HK law on Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap. 170) does not prohibit the importation and sale of wild birds, and even more so, the HK Tourist Board promotes it as a HK highlight!
Only a small percentage of birds survived the ordeal of trapping and logistics to get to where they are now and even so, many were clearly distressed and in poor condition. It does make one wonder how many died to get one bird on display in the small cage. While Birdlife , CITES and NGOs around the world work to combat the threats resulting from wild bird trade…HK, being a world class city should step up and mirror European Union Ban on wild bird trade/import.
While some old Chinese hobbies should be nurtured, this is clearly NOT one of them! Dear HK, please let’s just shut this bird market.