A passenger arriving into New York through John F. Kennedy International Airport was discovered to be hiding 70 live birds hidden in hair rollers in a black duffel bag.
On Saturday, U.S. customs and Border Protection stopped a passenger arriving from Guyana who was carrying a suspicious black duffel bag.
The finches were detained under quarantine and given to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Veterinary Services.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of field operations in New York Troy Miller said the team's agriculture specialists at the airport were the first line of defense against introduced animal diseases.
The New York Times reports that officials believe the birds were brought to the U.S. to participate in singing contests.
Customs officials say people bet on how many times the finches chirp, and a winning male finch can sell for up to $10,000.