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Goldfinch trainers seek to spread wings beyond Gaza

Palestinian trainers of singing goldfinches hope to one day take part in international competitions, but have been limited so far because of closed borders.
A Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis) perches on a cherry branch in the village of Studencice April 22, 2009. REUTERS/Srdjan Zivulovic (SLOVENIA ANIMALS ENVIRONMENT) - RTXE94M
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TANGIER, Morocco — With their natural ability to learn melodies, goldfinches have attracted the interests of thousands of breeders and trainers around the world. Palestinian interest in the songbirds' varied colors and capacity to sing different melodies emerged in the 1980s.

There are mainly two types of goldfinch people. Some are interested in the natural singing of the birds. Contests are held to choose the birds with the strongest ability to sing harmoniously and in tune. Then there are those concerned with training the birds to sing musical sequences that vary from one country to another.

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