Bird Cage Paddles:

The Effect:

Using what's known as the "Paddle Move", the bird fly's away from one paddle and into the cage of the other paddle.


You are supplied with two paddles, one for each hand. One paddle contains a bird on one side and nothing on the other. The other paddle contains an empty cage on one side and a cage with the bird in it.

The Paddle Move:

This is a deceptive technique used to show two sides of a surface to be the same. One side is actually being shown twice. Hold the paddle with the bird and blank side between your thumb and index finger. The bird should be facing up. Lift the paddle up as if you are going to expose the blank side. As you do this, you need to twist/roll the paddle between your thumb and index finger 180 degrees to the opposite side.

The paddle falls to the opposite side, showing the bird side again. This is a two part move: turning the paddle over while at the same time rolling the paddle 180 degrees. The larger motion of turning hides the smaller motion of twisting/rolling. Do this same move in reverse to return the paddle to the original position (Paddle Move in Reverse). Use a mirror to practice your angles.


Start with the paddle with the bird in your left hand, with the bird toward the audience. The paddle with the cages will be in your right hand, with the empty cage facing the audience. Use the Paddle Move to show that the cage is empty on both sides.

Then shake your left hand and roll the paddle over showing the blank side. Do the Paddle Move in your left hand to show both sides of the paddle are empty! 

Explain that the bird has flown away. Then with the right hand paddle, jerk outward and roll it over at the same revealing the bird flew into the cage! Use the Paddle Move once more to show the bird is in the cage on both sides of the paddle. 

Learning Video: