Illegal hunting threatens songbird prized as delicacy: Study | 2019-05-24 | daily-sun.com

Illegal hunting threatens songbird prized as delicacy: Study

24 May, 2019 12:00 AM printer

Illegal hunting threatens 
songbird prized as delicacy: Study

WASHINGTON: Every year, nearly five million breeding pairs of ortolan buntings—a type of tiny songbird classified as endangered in several countries—migrate from Europe to Africa for the winter, reports AFP.

About 300,000 of the birds pass through southwestern France, where they fall prey to hunters who for decades have defied bans on harvesting them in the name of gastronomic tradition. You see, the ortolan bunting is seen by elite chefs and foodies as a rare culinary treat—one that is consumed whole, bones and all, with a napkin over one’s head, for privacy and to better inhale its aroma.

Late French president Francois Mitterrand was a noted fan.

And even though his country listed the species as protected in 1999 after his death, the hunt has gone on.


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