Millions of songbirds ‘vacuumed’ to death every year during olive harvest season

Millions of songbirds ‘vacuumed’ to death every year during olive harvest season

Millions of songbirds are vacuumed out of trees by machinery and killed each year during the Mediterranean’s olive harvest season, according to resear

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Millions of songbirds are vacuumed out of trees by machinery and killed each year during the Mediterranean’s olive harvest season, according to researchers.Between October and January, millions of birds from Europe escape the winter and fly south to the Mediterranean basin and roost in olive bushes — largely in Spain, Italy, Greece, Portugal and France.READ MORE: 1 million species face extinction as humans plunder nature at ‘unprecedented’ rate
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The olive trees are stripped of their fruit at night because cool temperatures help preserve the aromatic compounds, according to an editorial piece written in Nature.But the light and noise of the harvesting machines blind and disorientate the sleeping birds, which end up getting sucked into the machinery on a massive scale, researchers warn.“The machinery is perfectly fine if used during the day, as birds are able to see and escape while they are operating,” Vanessa Mata, the lead researcher at Portugal’s Research Center in Biodiversity and Genetic Resources, told The Independent.“However, during the night, they use very strong lights which confuse the birds and lead to their death as they are ‘sucked in’ by the tractor.”WATCH: Are developers destroying habitat of Ontario’s endangered species?

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