Farmer on Spain’s Costa Blanca trapped and kept finches to use and breed for singing contests

A 78-year old Mutxamel farmer is being investigated for setting up an intricate homemade trap to illegally capture finches.

The Guardia Civil said in many similar cases, finches are bred in captivity as they are encouraged to sing and are entered in competitions.

The man placed a large net just beneath the soil and put a drinking fountain on top of it for thirsty birds to use.

They were also attracted to fly in by the farmer placing caged birds in adjacent trees and on the ground by the net.

He then hid in a tent camouflaged by bushes a few metres away to watch over the drinking fountain.

Camouflaged Tent

As soon as a finch flew in for a drink, he pulled a rope that closed the net on the bird.

Finches encompass a variety of species including goldfinches, greenfinches, and linnets.

Capturing of finches has severe consequences on their population as well as affecting the eco-system.

They are migratory birds who look for warmer weather as seasons change.

An unspecified number of rescued birds were taken to the Santa Faz Wildlife Recovery Centre in Alicante, with the aim of reintroducing them to their natural habitat.

The farmer faces a number of charges including illegal hunting.


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