Photo by myself at the Hua Mei Bird Garden in Sara Delano Roosevelt Park, at Chrystie and Delancey Streets.
If you're ever in New York during the warmer months, stop by the Hua Mei Bird Garden on your way to Chinatown, Soho or the Lower East Side for a little taste of nature.
A small enclave of cages are suspended around eye level, each containing a tiny song bird. They jumped about very quickly while emitting bright peeps. Other cages were placed on the ground for larger songbirds, which sang more complicated songs. The result is a small cacophony.
The birds, an assortment of white-eyed finches, blue jays, starlings and sparrows, are owned by a group of 20-some Chinese men, who bring their pets during the week and on weekends. While I was there, one gentleman lovingly fed his bird live worms.
The birds were first displayed in the park in the mid-1990's. Since the tradition began, there is a designated area called the Hua Mei Bird Garden.
For an article about the park in the Times, click here.
NPR did a short broadcast about Hua Mei, which includes some of the birdsong:
Related posts: Odd and Colorful Birds, in Bryant Park, On Rupert and the Wild Parrots of Brooklyn and Getting the Goods on Canal Street.