Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e.V. Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

Komitee gegen den Vogelmord e. V.
Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS)

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Catching birds with nets in Cyprus

Cuckoo in a net in Cyprus
Cuckoo in a net in Cyprus

While the poachers in Cyprus refer to bird trapping with limesticks as a tradition, they simply cannot say the same with nets: The industrially produced trapping nets, which are widely found on the island today, did not appear until the 1970s.

Hardly any other trapping method makes it so clear why bird-trapping is prohibited: Nets catch indiscriminately catch everything that flies into them. They are practically invisible in front of a dark background, block the flight path and give the birds absolutely no chance. Once trapped, they become entangled in attempts to free themselves. In the end they die after a long struggle from overheating in the sun, from exhaustion, strangle themselves with the wafer-thin nylon threads or - finally - are killed by the bird trappers.

As an important geographical stepping stone, more songbird species rest in Cyprus during the migration period than anywhere else in Europe. Anyone setting up nets in Cyprus is not only catching blackcaps, which are a coveted delicacy as "Ambelopoulia". Everything that flies over the eastern flyway ends in the nets: Warblers, leaf warblers, flycatchers, redstarts and shrikes as well as cuckoos, bee-eaters and birds of prey.

There are three trapping seasons: In spring and autumn the migrating songbirds are pursued, in the winter months it's the thrushes wintering on the island.