The Last Song: Mediteranean Bird Slaughter
photo by David Guttenfelder (AP)

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STORY: Across the Mediterranean, hundreds of millions of migratory birds are killed every year for food, profit, and amusement. A largely illegal practice, bird poaching is unsustainable, indiscriminate, and attacks the populations of many already threatened species.

In this April 30, 2012 photo, a badly injured Lesser White Throat hangs by it wings and feet from a gluey tree sap covered "limestick" placed by songbird poachers. The bird was found by activists from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS), in the town of Ayia Napa, Cyprus and taken to the home of a fellow animal rights activist to be nursed back to health, but died soon after.

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In this Sept. 20, 2012 photo, an Egyptian hunter holds two dead golden orioles in his hand and raises a shotgun, as he and his brother shoot migratory songbirds in Egypt's Al Maghrah oasis. After crossing the Mediterranean on their way south, golden orioles must brave more than a thousand miles of Saharan desert only to be heavily hunted in this resting point in the desert.

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In this Oct. 19, 2012 photo, a European robin, fatally pinned by its neck and foot in a poacher's trap, lies on the forest floor in the Italy's Brescia region. The practice is illegal in the region but poachers still use the traps, nets, and snares in Italy's northern woods.

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In this Oct. 16, 2012 photo, a songbird poacher's tray of frozen songbirds sits on the pavement after it was confiscated by Italian forest rangers in the Italy's Brescia region. Illegally hunted birds are secretly served as a delicacy in restaurants and homes.

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In this Sept. 20, 2012 photo, an Egyptian boy catches a chiffchaff songbird under a huge net draped over a tree at his family's farm near al Daba, Egypt. The birds fly into the open end of the net and can't find their way out.

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In this Sept 30, 2012 photo, an Egyptian man collects European quail as they arrive after migrating across the Mediterranean Sea from Europe and are caught in his net stretched along the beach near Baltim, Egypt.

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In this Sept. 18, 2012 photo, a Bedouin hunter in the Western Desert shows off a dead Golden Oriole songbird as he returns with the day's kill to a hunting camp in Egypt's Western Desert.

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In this Sept 2, 2012 photo at the market in El Daba, Egypt, dead golden orioles are bagged for sale by bird merchants. Across the Mediterranean, hundreds of millions of migratory birds are killed annually during the treacherous passage for food, profit, and cruel amusement.

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In this Oct. 2, 2012 photo, a raptor is tethered to the hood of a truck to serve as a trapper's spotter in Egypt's Western Desert. When the bird spies a falcon, it looks up, alerting the trapper to release a small bird wearing a snare, trapping the falcon if it comes in for the kill. Falconers pay up to $35,000 for a live falcon.

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In this March 8, 2012 photo, a dead garganey duck, which was shot and killed by Albanian hunters as it arrived on the coast after migrating from North Africa, floats among duck decoys in the Mediterranean Sea near Velipoje, Albania. Across the Mediterranean, hundreds of millions of migratory birds are killed annually during the treacherous passage for food, profit, and cruel amusement.

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In this May 4, 2012 photo, anti-songbird poaching activists from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) sneak into a orchard where they found, and removed, dozens of freshly placed "limesticks", used to capture songbirds, in a citrus orchard in Ayia Napa, Cyprus.

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In this Sept. 19, 2012 photo, the head of a golden oriole songbird lies in the sand near a hunting camp in Egypt's Western Desert after hunters cleaned and cooked the birds they killed that day..

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In this Oct. 8, 2012 photo, an animal rights activist from the Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) sucks the gluey tree sap from the wings of a female black cap bird that he rescued from a bird-poacher 's limestick trap in a orchard in Ayia Napa, Cyprus.