The Guardian begins a report about the illegal killing of small birds like this:

The Egyptians line their beaches with fine two-metre high nets that can stretch for miles across the Nile delta and will catch any bird coming close; the Maltese will cover whole trees in nylon; the Cypriots smear branches in glue to stop birds flying; the Italians will kill nearly anything that flies and the French like to set metal traps for small birds.

But the sheer scale of the cruelty of the illegal wild bird killings around the Mediterranean which was revealed last week has shocked conservationists and bird lovers across Europe.

It seems that up to 25 million chaffinches, thrushes, robins, quails and many other species are being shot, trapped or poisoned as they migrate to and from mainland Europe.

The newspaper (and conservationists) wonders why, and so do we.

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