Illustrated Adventures » by Alli Campbell

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The Hong Kong Flower and Bird Market is buried in the Kau Tsim Mong District of Kowloon, a leafy little corner surrounded by sports stadiums and indistinguishable apartment buildings. The flower section is full of elaborate packaging and roses individually sleeved in mesh, expensive orchids and a few half hearted attempts at a brown papered Brooklyn aesthetic.

The bird market is a more sedate affair – it’s hard to tell who is buying, who is selling, and who’s just there to show off their expensive, extravagantly caged animals. Fussy old men, preening and pampering, feeding crickets and caterpillars to love birds and macaws, budgies and parrots. With chopsticks. I know that birds are popular pets all over the world, but the toucan seemed like a bridge too far. And we couldn’t get over seeing Sulphur Crested Cockatoos so far from home. I’m not sure they’d be an ideal match for high density apartment living, but I’m not a fussy old man. Not exactly the target market. Particularly as I’m scared of birds.

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  • Colleen Brynn - February 2, 2014 - 5:07 pm

    Caged birds en masse like that is totally sad, yet the cages are somewhat picturesque, so I’m torn.ReplyCancel

    • Alli Campbell | Illustrated Adventures - February 2, 2014 - 9:40 pm

      Oh I so agree. Nice to take pictures of, but if I could I’d ban it in a heart beat. I think seeing the larger birds in particular – the toucan couldn’t even turn around without knocking his beak.ReplyCancel

  • Catherine - February 11, 2014 - 9:51 pm

    The market sounds mesmerising, and your photos are beautiful (Though I’m a little heartbroken that they’re all in cages too!)ReplyCancel