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Songbirds Trapped and Eaten

Credits: Rosie
Watford Grammar School for Girls (See more work from this school)
Song birds stuck in the mist nets

Can you imagine tucking into a deep fried robin? Or maybe a barbecued song thrush would be more to your taste. Many Cypriots have been enjoying these delicacies in much the same way as you may enjoy fries, burgers or pizza.

Despite RSPB and Ministry of Defence intervention, local poachers continued to lure these birds to their death at a British Military base in Cape Pyla - killing approximately 15,000 birds a night.  

The poachers use a recording of birdsong to attract them into the “mist nets”- hung between acacia trees-where they are caught and later killed by a pin through the head. Acacia trees are just the right density and height to provide a perfect nesting spot for the birds, so when poachers string up nets between the trees, birds immediately fly into them.  Although many of the poachers have been fined a considerable amount, they are not deterred as one meal can cost up to 60 euros for 12 birds. Experts say the only way to stop this poaching is to destroy the 100 or so acres of acacia trees, a virtually impossible feat when all of the locals are in favour of the poaching. Charis Packham told the Times, “If this was an instance of human trafficking of drugs, the authorities would stop it immediately but as it is birds they give in to the locals’ protests”.    

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