Singing bird contest, Suriname


Dawn breaks over a football field in Nieuw Nickerie. Stakes have been driven into the ground. Twenty burly men wait anxiously in a ring… then a row of caged birds begins to sing.

Suriname’s Sunday morning singing bird contests are big business. Everybody brings along their throatiest songbird (usually a tiny twa twa captured from the interior). Males are first teased with their favourite female to get them in the mood, then hung on stakes in cages and pitted against one another. The bird that sings the most melodiously for the longest is the winner.

Champion birds sell for up to $3000, so it’s no surprise that their welfare is paramount. The tiny tweeters listen to special CDs to learn the most desirable melodies and are walked out regularly to ‘take the air’.

Written by - Photo by Hornplayer

Readers who enjoyed
this article also liked:

  • The Owl House, South Africa

    This famously peculiar tourist attraction, once the home of artist Helen Martins, is filled with fantastical beings, mirrors and crushed glass walls.

  • Hamster Hotel, France

    Ever wondered what life would be like as a rodent? This hotel in Nantes lets you find out.

  • Aircraft fuselage hotel, Costa Rica

    You could join the Mile High Club with ease and comfort at this Costa Rica retreat, if only the plane in question were a little further off the ground.


By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.