I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings


On an ordinary day we were going out for lunch and hoped to spot some cool new birds, especially since we was visiting an area of Singapore which we don’t go to so often.

And we did, but not in the way we hoped.

There were at least 20 cages hung up with Oriental White-Eyes inside, and about 5 – 6 cages with Red Whiskered Bulbuls. At first we thought they were selling the birds, but there were people standing around, and they probably owned the birds.

The birds were in their tiny cages, hopping around, some more frantic than others. A red whiskered bulbul attempted to fly, but there was no space and it could only clutch onto the cage bars to no avail. The whole pavilion was a cacophony of bird chirps.

According to some local birding websites, the white-eyes are considered an introduced species as the wild population in Singapore has died out and the ones you see in the wild are escapees.

When we started this blog, we hoped to take photographs of all the birds we could see from our balcony. We have tried to take pictures of these two types of birds unsuccessfully during our fleeting encounters with them. However, now that they were in front of us, we didn”t have the heart to take any pictures to add to our collection.

It would be really nice if one day all birds can live freely in the wild where they belong.

We’ll end the post with a quote:

The caged bird

sings with a fearful trill

of things unknown

but longed for still

and his tune is heard

on the distant hill

for the caged bird

sings of freedom.

– Maya Angelou, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

2 thoughts on “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings

  1. nice poem. I remember seeing the birds in cages when I lived in Singapore many years ago and recently on a visit to Hanoi – I often wonder what their beautiful song is about…


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