Hong Kong is a noisy metropolis, but bird song fills the air in the Yuen Po Bird Garden in the Mong Kok district. The garden features stalls selling songbirds, carved wooden cages, and bird food including lots of live creepy crawlies. In American and European pet stores, birds are also commonly for sale, but they tend to be brightly coloured parakeets, budgies, or parrots. At Yuen Po, most of the birds were sandy brown or black and white. They were not being sold for their feathers as much as for their songs.
The bird species were almost all local to Hong Kong, like the oriental magpie-robin and red-whiskered bulbul. They were the same birds we saw while walking in the Chinese Garden of Nan Lian and the mountain forests near Ngong Ping. While we were at the market, we even saw one seller catch a bird that had landed nearby and swiftly stuff it into a cage. It would seem that these birds are caught and then sold, rather than bred for the purpose.