Bird Lovers

Love Bird

Indonesians are obvious bird lovers. Throughout the country it’s common to see birds perched in cages in front of people’s homes and businesses. This led us to ask questions about why there is such a fascination with birds.

We discovered that many of these birds were caught in the jungle and sold to dealers. A few of the breeds are bred in captivity. It is very common to see men pulling huge carts along roads as they sell birds door-to-door (Our video below shows the carts).

The value of the birds are determined by their ability to sing, chirp, or imitate a person’s voice. We were told that the most expensive bird can cost as much as $7,000. The bird cages (sangkar) vary in cost as well, from the cheapest at $0.50, to the most expensive at over $100.00.

Many people buy birds as a hobby, and some for stress relief. There are also many who have the birds because of their spiritual beliefs. They believe that the chirping and singing in front of their homes or businesses will keep evil spirits from entering, and thus they will have a more prosperous business and healthier / harmonious family.

  • Two specific birds that have spiritual value:

o   Cucak Rawa (Straw-headed Bulbul)

§  This bird is very rare. Its cost begins at $500.

o   Perkutut (or Merbuk)

§  If the sound of this bird emits is short, “ku-tut-tut-tut,” their value is around $100.00

§  If their voice has an extended sound, like:  “ku-tut-tut-tut-tut-tut-tut-tut…” their value can go up to $550.00

Birds can live 2-15 years and you can tell their age by the color or thickness of their legs.


Most Expensive Bird:

Beo  – this bird’s value can be in the thousands of dollars, due to its ability to replicate the voice of a person.


Common Birds:

Murai Batu — Costs $75.00 before it can sing, and $100.00 if it is already old enough to sing.

Hias (Love Bird) — $100

Kacer — $50

Racing Pigeonsclick here to read our post about Indonesian’s enjoyment with raising and racing pigeons.