Thailand bird singing competition draws thousands

27-Sep-2018 Intellasia | Economic Times | 6:00 AM Print This Post

The annual bird singing competetion in Thailand draws thousands of spectators from south east Asia. Over 1,600 birds from Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore took part in the annual contest where competitors pitch their singing birds against other.

Birds of same feather

When the contest begins, ornate bamboo cages with birds inside are hoisted onto hooks suspended three metres high above the ground on a metal grid.

In harmony

Though watching a songbird contest seems a bit chaotic, it’s all organised. The most common contest is not about quality of birdsong, but about quantity. In the ‘singing in four rounds’ contest, the winner is the bird which will sing the most number of times (the bulbuls sing in short bursts) in a given period.

The contest

A timekeeper places an ornamental tin bowl inside a clear glass jar filled with water. Once the bowl sinks, the timekeeper blows his whistle marking the end of session. The round lasts around 20 to 25 seconds. There are four such rounds and a bird must sing at least three times in order to advance to the next round.

Winning bird

Good birds may sing up to eight times in a round. The judges mark cards hanging from the cages with the number of times the bird has sung in this round. The bird that eventually keep up with the pace emerges as the winner.

What a catch

Prize money can fetch up to 30,000 Thai Baht, and winning birds are worth hundreds of thousands of baht.


Category: Thailand

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