Song birds at Kam Tin walled village | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Song birds at Kam Tin walled village

Song birds at Kam Tin walled village
Date picture taken (may be approximate): 
Monday, August 3, 1981


The small bird at the far end could be a green singing finch, or another kind of song bird in Cantonese we call "sheun-see" or similar species.  Both were popular pets of middle-age~elderly men in the 1950s.  When these male birds sing, I believe they are in reality marking their territory,making known to others of their presence, or trying to attract females.  Female birds tunes are shorter and less frequent; hence, mostly male birds would make pets. The men would bring along their pets to tea (dim-sum) restaurants catered to these hobbyists, and there was one such restaurant on Shanghai Street near Argyle St, and a bird shop on Nathan Road across from Broadway Theatre.

 They also take their morning stroll to nearby park to meet other hobby friends, where they share their daily news and views mainly political and social-economic issues.  As a boy playing in the park I got the opportunity to listen.

If the two black birds are young Mynah birds, their beaks would turn orange red as they age, and amass some vocabularies. 

I remember the lovely sound of the mynah birds calling - I last heard them early one morning in around 2004 when I especially went to somewhere in the Mong Kok area to hear them being 'exercised' by their owners. Andrew