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How to Do the Live Bird Magic Trick

Doves or pigeons are often used for the bird trick.
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Magicians and magic tricks are a popular version of live entertainment. Magicians tailor their routines to suit their personality and include classic and personalized tricks. A popular trick choice is the live bird magic trick. This trick is characterized by a magician pulling a bird out of a hat, scarf or other item.

Put on a shirt and jacket where the cuff of the sleeve is snug against your wrist. The wrist openings of the jacket should be large enough to accommodate the circumference of your wrist and the circumference of the bird's body.

Gently smooth the feathers of the bird down and straighten the bird's body. Slide the bird into the sleeve of the jacket so that it is sandwiched between the shirt and jacket fabric. The pigeon should be far enough inside that an observer could not see the bird's head. Slightly bend your wrist to cover the outlet of the jacket sleeve to prevent the bird from escaping.

Hold a scarf up in front of you. The scarf should be made of fabric that is opaque in the light used during your performance. Have an observer certify that the material can not be seen through.

Show the observers the front and back of the scarf so they can confirm that there is nothing attached to the scarf or hidden anywhere. Position the scarf so the front of the scarf is prominently displayed and covering the opening of your sleeve.

Straighten your wrist to allow the bird to emerge. If the bird does not emerge on its own, you can gently reach in and pull the bird from your sleeve using your other hand. Guide the bird to the center of the scarf. Fold the sides of the scarf around your hand and the enclosed bird.

Grasp the center of the scarf and lift it up and away to display the bird. Release the bird into the air for added effect.

Things You'll Need:

  • Bird
  • Scarf
  • Dress shirt
  • Long-sleeved jacket


Use a small, quiet bird for your trick. Background music can be played during your performance to disguise or obscure any sounds the bird may make. Practicing this trick in front of a mirror can help you visualize the trick. You will need to practice until the bird can be moved from your sleeve and transferred into the scarf without any hesitation.


  • The birds used for the appearing bird trick are live animals. Be gentle with the bird when it is in your sleeve and ensure that it does not remain there for an extended period of time to avoid overheating. When the bird is not being used for your show, you must ensure proper diet and housing.
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