Thursday, May 14, 2009
An Unnatural Bird Migration

By Laura Doering, Editor of BIRD TALK and BirdChannel.com
Join in on Laura's fun and experiences of bird ownership, and share in her adventures as the editor of BIRD TALK, the world’s most widely read pet bird magazine, in Wayward Feathers.

Hope you had a chance to check out this week’s bird newsOne story in particular caught my eye. It’s about a guy who was apprehended at Los Angeles International airport for “conspiring to smuggle songbirds into Los Angeles from Vietnam.” 

The man was caught with 14 live — yes live! — Asian songbirds. Mind you, what made this story a headliner is the way he was caught; these birds weren’t found in his carry-on: they were individually wrapped in cloth, strapped to his legs and ankles. What gave him away were the droppings on his socks and the tail feathers peeking out from beneath his pants. Imagine that — 14 birds, that’s seven on each leg!

A co-worker asked me how someone could fly 13 hours with birds tied to them without anyone noticing. I pointed out that, from my experience with parrots, birds typically won’t let out a peep if they are covered. So, covered in the darkness under pant legs, these poor birds were silent victims of poaching. Good for them for pooping all over his legs and, in doing so, grabbing the attention of airport authorities.

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