[Tweeters] Fantastic NatGeo article on the hunting/capture of migratory birds around the Mediterranean

Jonathan Bent bent.jonathan at gmail.com
Tue Jun 18 10:34:02 PDT 2013

Hi folks,

My wife and I have recently moved to Washington from Southern California,
so this is my first post on Tweeters; sorry for the serious topic!

I came across this riveting and disturbing article by Jonathan Franzen in
the July 2013 National Geographic about the capture, hunting, and general
mistreatment of migratory birds in Northern Africa and Europe. The article
highlights Egyptian and Albanian cases, in particular--though the problem
is considerably more widespread--and points to sociocultural and political
impetuses that motivate individuals to hunt the birds in shockingly
inhumane ways. Perhaps worst of all, it seems that tools designed by
birders--namely playback apps--have recently made it even easier for
hunters to lure in migrating birds.

I thought the Tweeters group would find the article interesting, but I must
warn that there are some disturbing photos/videos/descriptions of the birds
being taken. There are certainly glimmers of hope, but this strikes me as a
largely sad story, and an activism case in very nascent stages. It sounds
like there is a tremendously long way to go, and much international
collaboration to happen, before the situation turns around. Surprisingly,
there isn't much of a mention in the article of how interested persons can
get involved in advocacy for this issue--I wonder if any of you know?


I also noticed some overarching themes about birders getting involved in
disadvantaged/politically divided areas in common with a Daily Show piece
by Wyatt Cenac... This is, at least, a bit more light-hearted, but not the
most flattering portrayal of us dedicated birders!


Jonathan Bent
Whidbey Island (for now; Seattle soon)
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