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Ambelopoulia is a controversial dish of pickled or boiled songbirds served in some Cypriot restaurants. It is illegal in Cyprus as it involves trapping wild birds such as Blackcaps and European Robins [1]. As a result of this practice, internationally protected species of migratory birds are killed as well. Enforcement of the ban has been lax, so many restaurants still serve the dish without consequence.

The trappers defend their activity by citing the practice as traditional Cypriot hunting.

The birds are trapped in either of two ways. Black, fine-mesh nylon fishing nets, which are difficult to see, are strung between trees. Electronic bird calls lure the birds to entangle their wings and legs.

Others are trapped using glue sticks made from the berries of a local tree or birdlime. The glue sticks are placed on the branches of trees, and any birds that perch on them are stuck until the trapper returns to kill them (usually with a tooth pick to the throat). Often the legs of the birds are so stuck to the glue sticks that they need to be pulled off.

The birds sell for approximately CY2.00. Since the entrails of the birds are not removed, (as it is not cost effective to do so) the consumer is encouraged to swallow the bird whole [1].

References

  1. ^ Ambelopoulia

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