Every Friday, the bird enthusiasms lug several large bird cages to Jalan Sri Cemerlang in Kota Baru, Kelantan, for the town’s weekly bird singing competition.
From 8am to 11am, they sit at the Arena Burung Candik, watching their Bulbuls sing their hearts out, along with over 500 other birds. This unusual event takes place in a field off the main road in the town Centre, and many of the bird enthusiasts sitting on the sidelines watching the competition have been doing this for 15 years, which is how long the Persatuan Burung Candik Negeri Kelantan has been holding the event.
The bulbuls, which are mainly made up of Red Whiskers, Black Heads and Yellow Heads species, are placed side-by-side in their cages in four rows on the field, judged by four trained judges.
Each bird performs five times, and the judges score them in four categories. Since many of the judges are also bird owners, the cages are numbered rather than named so that they won’t know which birds are theirs. (The cages all look the same as per regulation.)