A man was recently caught at JFK airport in New York trying to smuggle in 34 live birds from Guyana. Why would a man try to smuggle in birds? Because of their voices.
It seems that Francis Gurahoo, a 39-year-old from Connecticut, tried to smuggle dozens of finches in his carry-on luggage. They were concealed in hair curlers.
Apparently, these finches are used in singing contests around New York City where bets are placed on the birds with the best "voice."
In such contests, two finches sing and a judge selects the bird determined to have the best voice. It's a lot like "American Idol" only for birds. The people who attend these singing contests wager on the birds. A finch who wins these competitions can sell for in excess of $5,000.
Federal regulations require importers to declare the importation of any wildlife and to secure a permit for their importation from the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. He didn't declare them but was planning on selling them for at least $3,000.
US Customs and Border Protection says it nabbed smugglers carrying nearly 200 finches in airports in 2018.