Here goes the Part 6 (my last fourth blog post) of my recent fruitful trip to Hong Kong - Yuen Po Street Bird Garden 园圃街雀鸟花园 located near Prince Edward MTR Station 太子站.
Last Sunday afternoon, after the weather has turned decidedly warmer, provide many options for a lovely walk in Hong Kong. Known otherwise as an urban or concrete jungle, this is only partially true. The island has fantastic hiking trails, marshes, wetlands, gorgeous coastline…That Sunday, with my Canon DSLR camera, I made my way to an old favorite of tourists and locals alike, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden 园圃街雀鸟花园. Most folks turn up here to either “sun” a.k.a "chai" their birds (i.e. stroll around with their caged birds in hand, comparing notes with the other bird afficianados, or just sitting on one of the stools, hanging out and chatting), take photos of the birds, or just see the spectacle.
Not me, not that day. Nothing against “Mother Nature”. I was here that day for a 'bigger prey'. I was looking to shoot (figuratively of course) the people – the tourists, the bird keepers / lovers, anyone who seemed interesting. I was not at all disappointed! I collected the various nice shots in a little over an hour.
I must say that in spite of those birds' small sizes, they really deliver both as a novelty and for sheer entertainment. Seeing birds so close is a rare gift and viewers will enjoy observing behaviour.
One of the most interesting markets to both see and hear in Hong Kong is the bird market. It is a small market located close to the flower market between a stadium and the train tracks in Kowloon. Song birds are particularly popular at this market but many different varieties of birds are available. You know when you are getting close to this market when you start seeing people carrying bird cages. The Yuen Po Street Bird Garden 园圃街雀鸟花园 is a short walk from the Prince Edward MTR station.
The Yuen Po Street Bird Garden 园圃街雀鸟花园 was built in 1997 as a way to improve the environment in Argyle Street/Shanghai Street district and to replace the popular Bird Street, which had been demolished. The Garden has traditional "pai lou" (gateway) designs with courtyards flanked by rows of trees and bird stalls. It is a place where people can bring their pet birds to show off and to buy any kind of bird or bird supply needed. The bird vendors busy themselves caring for their birds and helping locals and tourists alike appreciate the beautiful animals.
With its ideal location, elegant design and concentration of stalls selling pet birds and related commodities, the Yuen Po Street Bird Garden 园圃街雀鸟花园 has become a rendezvous for bird fanciers and a place of interest for Hong Kong people as well as tourists.
由于园圃街雀鸟花园地点适中, 设计优美, 又是售卖雀鸟, 雀笼, 雀鸟饲料等档位的集中地, 所以成为爱雀人士乐于使用的康乐设施.
园圃街雀鸟花园的建筑特色, 包括花岗石地板, 在日光照射下闪闪生辉的竹形琉璃瓦屋顶, 以及花园旁雕刻了不同雀鸟形态的二百多块青白玉石等. 而最特别的要算是近界限街一边的入口处, 装嵌了一幅雕工精细的百鸟图.
In this tiny but enchanting corner of Mong Kok, you should find a handful of old men out ‘walking’ their caged songbirds. Birds are considered harbingers of good fortune, which is why you’ll see some people carrying them to the racetrack. There are also birds for sale from the stalls here, along with elaborate cages carved from teak and bamboo.
每天有不少爱雀人士在, 雀鸟花园流连, 彼此交换饲养雀鸟心得.
This charming Chinese-style garden is the favoured gathering place of Hong Kong's songbird owners, who carry their beloved pets around in intricately carved cages. All manner of beautiful birds can be seen here, as well as a selection of traditional bird-keeping paraphernalia. Enjoy the beautiful sights and sounds.
游人到此参观, 可细赏雀鸟的千姿百态, 聆听唱雀的宛转啼叫, 尽情享受生活的闲适惬意. 园圃街雀鸟花园积虽小, 但颇有特色. 它的建设源於旧雀仔街的迁建. 内有因迁拆而来的雀鸟店数十家, 在这里你可以听到数以百计雀鸟在歌唱争呜, 甚至可以与牠们拍照留念.
It was odd to me that many of the cages seemed over crowded but I suppose in a city where people live closer together than I am used to that is not really surprising.
I was told that a bird starts to sing more regularly at home and thereafter, you can start to bring him out to 'chai' area. Usually, bird owner will hang it to one side to let it get used / familiar with other species of birds. Alternatively, the bird owner can also bring it to other nature parks where it will feel less stressed. It takes a few months or even more for a bird to sing at the 'chai area' and to sing regularly even more. Not even to mention that can sing non stop for 2 hrs.
A green parrot - Among all birds man has tamed the green parrot seems to be the most favorite. In fact, the parrot family as a whole is the best choice. Among all kinds of parrots, there are many which can be termed a green parrot. This is because of the color of their plumage. A green parrot is a visual delight in any house. A well trained green parrot is a marvel in itself. However, it is true that untrained and untame green parrots can be a major nuisance. Is your green parrot at home well trained?
A white cockatoo eyes the photographer's camera. When surprised, it extends a large and striking crest, which has a semicircular shape (similar to an umbrella). A Pet White Cockatoo may raise its crest upon training, or when something catches their interest such as a new toy or person.
These are some pics of the African Grey parrot with light grey feathers, deep red tails and black beaks.
I was also told that African Grey parrots are very strong and they can bite with their strong pointed beak and scratch with their claws. African Grey parrots have a high intelligence and they are generally thought to be the best mimics of all parrots.
Above pic features a Rose Breasted Cockatoo. I guess the most popular characteristic about this cockatoo that most people fall in love with…is that they are pink! I like the way it looks.
There is also a bird market and often men showing their song birds to one another. The market provides everything needed for keeping birds, from small song birds to large parrots, and numerous gilded and elaborate cages for them.
园内约有70个雀鸟摊位, 售卖各类唱雀和观赏性雀鸟, 精致的木制或竹制鸟笼林林总总, 雀鸟饲养用品一应俱全, 供爱鸟之人随意选购.
A little piece of heaven on Earth, Yuen Po Street Bird Garden 园圃街雀鸟花园, is a delightful refuge in a bustling city. It’s a garden, with vendors that sell birds and bird accessories. If you are smitten with talking parrots, love birds and other exotic beauties, this is a must see in Hong Kong.
I am by no means an expert bird watcher, but I do love to see and photograph birds. They are fascinating in their ability to fly, in the beautiful sounds many of them make and in the often spectacular beauty of their plumage. Birds also provide so much of interest to observe and one doesn't have to travel far to see them – they are everywhere, even in the most built up areas and so provide easy access to nature.
Special thanks to a friend (J.T) who is an avid bird lover and seasoned enthusiast who introduced his fondness for birds to me. He likes birds as pets, his fascination started when he was only about 9 years old! If not for his 'bird'-life story, i would not have actually stepped into this bird-viewing area in Hong Kong at all. Thank you for the descriptions of your bird-keeping all these years and for introducing some nature into my life! The world of birds is amazing! Any bird-viewing area at anywhere is awesome. :-)
Hong Kong 香港 - Part 7 (last 3rd HK trip blog post) - To be continued....
A freelance Singapore-based travel photographer / photojournalist. I seek the extraordinary, but finds beauty in the everyday. Life is interesting, capture it.
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