The Bird Garden seen today is actually a continuation of
long standing traditional bird market which was
previously in Hong Lok Street, known then as “Bird
Street”. This in turn developed due to the popularity
of a 1960s restaurant named Ki Heung in Shanghai Street
which, when it closed, caused all the bird fanciers and
traders to move to the nearby Hong Lok Street.
However over time the area around Hong Lok, Shanghai and Argyle Streets became decayed and in the mid 1990s the government started a redevelopment of the area. The original Bird Street location is now the large modern Langham Place development.
At the time of the redevelopment the importance of bird street was recognized and a dedicated bird garden, both for fanciers of songbirds and for the stall holders who supported them, was dedicated less than 1km away near Embankment Road.
This then is the modern Bird Garden of Yuen Po and the majority of stall holders in the modern garden are the same traders who worked for many years in Bird Street. Many relocated their entire business right down to the furniture into the new premises.
It has to be said though that the attraction of keeping song birds, while recognized as part of Hong Kong and Chinese cultural tradition, is declining. At the moment the majority of local visitors and customers to the Bird Garden are old customers from many years ago, there are not many new people coming into the hobby and we can wonder how long this part of Hong Kong will be maintained.