Wild birds becoming cage birds

VietNamNet Bridge – With keeping wild birds for ornaments now in vogue, more and more wild birds have fallen into hunters’ traps.

Local people set trap to catch birds

Wild birds in danger

Ha Hoa, the area with high mountains and old forests, is believed to be the ideal land for wild birds and animals to live and grow. However, this has become the “unlucky land” for them since they have been hunted just to satisfy the people’s demand for ornamental birds.

Hoang Van Tu has been well-known as an experienced bird hunter in the Ha Hoa mountainous district of Phu Tho province. In order to catch wild birds, Tu has spent a lot of money to buy nets, cages, stakes and ropes which help him make the traps to be put in the places where birds are living.

Tu usually plans to snare a certain species of bird during a certain time in a day, which means that he can catch different species of birds during a day which he can sell at different prices.

In order to catch a whole flock of birds, Tu needs a net with the length of up to 60 meters. Since Tu can predict the places where birds would gather, the characteristics of the birds and the flight heading, he can entice the whole flocks of birds with preys. Seeing the preys put by Tu, the birds would flock into his nets, and the only thing Tu needs to do is to snatch all of them to sell to merchants.

Tu said he is not choosy and he would catch all species of birds, because all of them can be sold, of course, at different price levels, depending on the taste of customers. A spotted dove could be sold at 500,000-700,000 dong, while others are cheaper, about some hundreds of thousands of dong.

The growing tendency of keeping wild birds for ornaments has helped Tu and many other local residents get rich.

What will be the swallow’s fate be?

As for Vietnamese people, swallows are the “spring’s envoy,” because they appear when the spring comes. In January and February of the solar calendar, or just after the traditional Tet, in mountainous areas, people can see flocks of swallows hovering around on the sky to enjoy the warm weather.

However, in recent years, the number of swallows turning up in spring has been decreasing. The birds are facing the risk of getting extinct because they have become the aiming point of human extermination.

The hobby of keeping wild birds for ornaments has generated a new job for the local residents in Bao Yen district of Lao Cai province. February and February are the high working season for bird hunters there.

The traps can be done very easily. With just four bamboo stakes, one can set up a square frame. The most important thing of the traps is the forest resin hunters smear on the frame. In order to seduce swallows, local people would stick some birds of prey to the traps.

The traps have been installed everywhere, while the rudimentary tools have helped catch a lot of birds.

The caught birds are brought by Tay ethnic minority people to markets for sale. A live bird can be sold at 8000 dong. Swallow has been added into the menu comprising the specialty food of the mountainous areas.

Hoang Van Vay in Tan Duong Commune said that he has been catching birds for sale over the last many years, considering this the main job for earning his living. Vay said he can catch hundreds of birds a day at maximum. As such, one can imagine how many birds have been caught over the last years by Vay and his “colleagues.”

Compiled by C. V