Bird of prey poaching in Lebanon
Although birds of prey are also strictly protected in Lebanon, they are one of the most popular targets of Lebanese poachers. Many shooters specifically go to the mountain ridges over which the large birds pass low overhead or to known roosting sites to target the migrating raptors. The perpetrators use high calibre rifles and long range shotguns to take out the passing birds. Some of the birds are partially eaten, breast meat is barbecued and the heart and livers are also considered a delicacy, but for the many birds that they are critically injured and fall further away, they are simply left for dead.
Anything that flies by is shot. In September, honey buzzards, levant sparrowhawks and hobbies, which still migrate across Lebanon in comparatively large numbers, are heavily affected. Later in the autumn, the lesser spotted eagles and the short-toed eagles come under fire. But also marsh, montagu's and pallid harriers; buzzards, ospreys, kites, eagles as well as griffon and Egyptian vultures are shot down as soon as they come within range.