The Shooting of a Bird

9 out of 24

The Bird King with proud father
No women allowed!

This event takes place one day a year on the little island of Aeroe in the far south of Denmark. It is the island where Jacob has his roots and where he spent almost every summer as a child.

The fascination of all these grown men who gets pissed drunk and shoots at a wooden bird with real loaded rifles out in the woods, have been documented almost ten years by Fuglsang Mikkelsen.

The name Fuglsang is the family name of the ancestors from Aeroe. His grand, grand father ran the first well known bar and club in town that is still around called Landbrogården. He was an artist and minor hustler who played several instruments and loved to throw a good shindig.

Grandfather on mothers side


In line for shooting ..and in color

The tradition of Bird shooting goes back over a couple of hundred years and was the only day a year when the craftsmen could take off time from work. Only a selected group are still allowed into the brotherhood, and there are strict rules and dress codes.

One of the rules are that you must start drinking hard alcohol and beer at 8 am and then not stop all day. Then there is a parade with flags, drums and fanfare all around town with rifles on their shoulders, saluting certain households in the town, such as the mayors family and past years Bird King.

Later in the afternoon they shoot real ammo at a wooden bird on a stick until it has been shot to pieces.
The one who shoots down most pieces become the Bird King and must invite all the wasted shooters home for a mad feast, with more beer, snapps and traditional Danish food.

No women are allowed inside the roped off area, they are just around for bringing sandwiches, or if they are lucky enough to have their man win the King title; cook food for around 50 drunken gentlemen.

Click image to read about Jacob's father and his cook book
Arne & Lise
Arne - also called The Black Cloud
Arne is a Ærø Classic