Each year, an estimated 1,000,000 birds are released in Hong Kong, implying that 10,000,000 died during capture and transport to Hong Kong for release. Furthermore, up to 75% of the 1,000,000 released birds die shortly after release.The practise of releasing birds is considered to have begun in Hong Kong during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD), when it was believed that the birds would carry the people’s prayers to heaven. The tradition survived the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) and continues to the present day.Despite the high death rate, the practise of releasing birds continues in Hong Kong for a variety of reasons. Many people regard bird release as a way to accumulate and create merit for future lifetimes. It is also regarded as a means of expressing appreciation to the gods and nature.Furthermore, it is believed that releasing birds brings good luck and riches. It is thought that releasing a white bird brings serenity and pleasure, whilst releasing a black bird brings money and fortune.Despite the fact that bird release is a centuries-old custom, it is crucial to note that the practise kills millions of birds each year. If you are thinking about releasing birds in Hong Kong, please consider the impact on the birds involved.