I'm Jeff from uk originally, but been in Thailand for a few years now. Just thought a few of you might find this interesting. One of the family is called Sai Chun, he is from Issan originally, which is in the North East of Thailand. They are from Laos originally, and are one of the poorest in Tailand, mainly farmers, and they will eat anything, including bats, birds, snakes, rats, dogs the list is endless.
I noticed one day Sai Chun in the garden on the otherside of our lake, I asked Wan my wife what he was doing, and she said he was putting up a micromesh net to catch birds to eat. I couldn't believe it has I personally like birds.
Anyway me and Wan went into the local town and when we arrived back I noticed the net was moving, I grabbed my binoculars and couldn't believe what I saw. The net was full of birds. But one bird stuck out, it was a female sparrowhawk that I had noticed flying around the last few weeks. I was staright over to the garden but could not free her. I told Wan to get a knife so i could cut her free but she said i couldn't do this as Sai Chun would know someone had tampled with his net.
I told her to go get Sai Chun as there was no way he was going to eat this. Sai Chun came and with in minutes had the bird free, he gave her to me, I offered money but he declined.
I still have her today. I have built an avairy for her and like you can see she is a beauty. If I had not noticed her she would have ended up in a stew.
These birds where also caught the same day and where not so lucky.
Sai Chun left the net up for several weeks. I used to watch for Sai Chun going to work in the rice/sugarcane fields and I managed to free quite a few without him knowing.
Every morning there would be bats in the net, I could not free these as they had teeth and I also know bats carry rabies. But Sai Chun used to make bat soup which I have sampled and is very tasty. Here's a couple of pics of the bats and Sai Chun.