The Passive Yet Controversial Sport

In general, when it comes to being good at a sport, it requires a great deal of both effort and skills, whether it be mental or physical. Do note however, that we said in general. What this means is that there is always the rare exception, and that very rare exception  would be none other than Finch Sitting. Never heard of this sport? Don’t worry, most people haven’t either. It’s a Dutch sport that is mostly played in the region of Flanders, and simply requires sitting down and listening to birds sing. Yes, you read that correctly – that’s all this sport entails. 

In Dutch, Finch Sitting is known as Vinkensport, and when played, small cages of birds are lined up on the street approximately six feet apart from one another.  Inside each of the small cages is a chaffinch bird who is required to make the largest number of bird calls in 60 minutes.  The owners of these male birds sit in front of the cages and are known as the finchers. Their task in the sport is to keep count of the bird songs by writing it down with chalk. 

For every complete bird call, a chalk line is marked. And while it may sound easy to cheat since the bird owner’s are the one’s keeping score, there are actually judges that circulate around the cages to make sure that no cheating is taking place before they announce the grand winner – the bird who made the most calls in one hour.  This sport is highly passive, maybe even boring too, depending on who you ask, but somehow, some even see it as a highly controversial sport, despite it’s incredible simplicity.  According to sources, these birds are often put through a wide variety of methods in order to increase their chances of winning these competitions, such as high-protein diets and selective breeding. Too bad, because otherwise we totally would have played this sport.