Mike Tyson Talks Competing in a Bird Chirping Competition in Suriname and Why Feathered Friends Are the Best

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A report by Kelli Bender for People.

Many know Mike Tyson as a force in the boxing ring, but recently he participated in a very different competition.

As part of Fusion TV’s new docuseries OUTPOST, Tyson, 50, flew out to Suriname with one of his 70+ birds to compete in a songbird contest. A long-running tradition in the country, these contests are all about testing a songbird’s chirping power. Feathered competitors get a set amount of time to chirp as much as possible, and the bird with the most chirps wins the match.

In Tyson’s round his bird got out an impressive 107 notes, but was beaten by the contest’s champion, who was able to chirp 137 times.

A fan of caring for birds since he was eight, Tyson loves the animals because they are friendly and social, and he was happy to find the people of Suriname to be just like his favorite pets.

“I loved meeting the people,” Tyson told PEOPLE about the experience. “The people were beautiful and we had a great time.”

With decades of experience looking after these stunning creatures, Tyson said the secret to keeping happy birds is spending time with your animals and making sure they get the proper amount of food.

“Without food you have no power over them,” he added.

Along with being good listeners, Tyson said birds are special because of their natural grace.

“I love the excitement of watching them fly around and then have them naturally come back down to you,” Tyson said about the simple thrills of being a bird owner.

To watch Tyson’s song-filled journey and other amazing travel adventures, tune in to new episodes of OUTPOST every Sunday at 8 p.m. on FUSION TV. 

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