Wild birds in the pet trade
With domestic finches everywhere in the Mediterranean area, bird traders can make a lot of money selling wild birds in the pet trade. Goldfinches, which not only look good, but are also good singers and can be cross bred with canaries, are particularly popular. But also linnets, siskins, hawfinches, brambling and green finches are popular cage birds. In many cities in southern Italy - especially in Naples and Palermo - more finches sing from the balconies of the old town streets than still breed in the surrounding forests and gardens.
Finches are relatively easy to breed with the appropriate expertise. With the appropriate documents and breeding rings these captive bred birds can be legitimately traded with ease. But the profit margins tempt criminal bird dealers and bird trappers to take the birds from the wild.