Abbadia San Salvatore

Abbey of Sant'Antimo

Albarese

Acquapendente


anghiari

Archipelago Toscano


Arcidosso


Arezzo


Asciano


Badia di Coltibuono


Bagni San Filippo

Bagno Vignoni

Barberino Val d'Elsa

Beaches

Bolsena Lake


Bomarzo

Brunello di Montalcino

Buenconvento

Campagnatico


Capalbio


Castel del Piano


Castelfiorentino

Castell'Azarra

Castellina in Chianti


Castelmuzio


Castelnuovo Bererdenga


Castiglioncello Bandini


Castiglione della Pescaia


Castiglione d'Orcia


Castiglion Fiorentino


Celleno


Certaldo


Chinaciano Terme


Chianti


Chiusi


Cinigiano


Città di Castello

CivitÀ di Bagnoregio


Colle Val d'Elsa


Cortona


Crete Senesi


Diaccia Botrona

Isola d'Elba

Firenze


Follonica


Gaiole in Chianti


Gavorrano

Gerfalco


Greve in Chianti


Grosseto


Lago Trasimeno


La Foce


Manciano


Maremma


Massa Marittima


Montagnola Senese


Montalcino


Monte Amiata


Monte Argentario

montecalvello

Montefalco


Montemassi


Montemerano


Monte Oliveto Maggiore


Montepulciano


Monteriggioni


Monticchiello


Monticiano


Orbetello


Orvieto


Paganico


Parco Naturale della Maremma


Perugia


Piancastagnaio


Pienza


Pisa


Pitigliano

Prato

Radda in Chianti


Roccalbegna


Roccastrada


San Bruzio


San Casciano dei Bagni


San Galgano


San Gimignano


San Giovanni d'Asso


San Quirico d'Orcia


Sansepolcro


Santa Fiora


Sant'Antimo


Sarteano


Saturnia


Scansano


Scarlino


Seggiano


Siena


Sinalunga


Sorano


Sovana


Sovicille

Talamone

Tarquinia


Tavernelle Val di Pesa


Torrita di Siena


Trequanda


Tuscania


Umbria


Val d'Elsa


Val di Merse


Val d'Orcia


Valle d'Ombrone


Vetulonia


Viterbo

Volterra




 
Walking in Tuscany
             
 

Typical Tuscany landscape with a small bunch of cypresses and rolling hills in autumn in Val d'Orcia,
between Montalcino and San Quirico d'Orcia

 

album Surroundings
       
   


Cypress trees in the Val d'Orcia
| Birdtraps for blackbirds and thrushes

 

   
   

In Tuscany, bunches of cypresses were planted as bird traps. The Italian cypress attracts birds. Some of the branches and twigs, as well as constructed false perches, were coated with birdlime, an adhesive substance usually made from crushed mistletoe berries, or sometimes from oak-gum. It is spread on a branch or twig, upon which a bird may land and be caught. The muscles of perching birds allow the toes to pull inwards with some force but there are no strong muscles to open them up. The use of birdlime is now illegal in many jurisdictions.

Italian birdlime was made of mistletoe berries, parasitic evergreen plants with white or yellow berries that grow in the crowns of oaks, apple trees and other trees. The mistletoe berries were heated and mixed with oil. To make it water resistant, they added turpentine.[2] In the Valencian region of Spain, birdlime (locally known as parany) is commonly used to capture the song thrush, which is a delicacy throughout Spain and is used in many local recipes. In spite of the EU's attempts to curb this practice, it is still tolerated in this region.
[2]

 

   
   
 
 
 
   
         
Flickr - lo.tangelini - S. Quirico d' Orcia

Bunch of cypresses in a Tuscany landscape, San Quirico d' Orcia [1]

 

There are two distinct groups of Cypress trees in the Val d'Orcia. The first group of cypress trees is located at 43 ° 03’45.62 “N 11 ° 33’31.86″ E, while the second group is along a dirt road at 43 ° 03’38.99 “N 11 ° 33’30.49″ E.

 

Viscum album

Viscum album is a species of mistletoe in the family Santalaceae, commonly known as European mistletoe, common mistletoe or simply as mistletoe. It is native to Europe and western and southern Asia.

Viscum album is a hemiparasite on several species of trees, from which it draws water and nutrients. It has a significant role in European mythology, legends, and customs. In modern times, it is commonly featured in Christmas decoration and symbology. The mistletoe was one of the many species originally described by Linnaeus. Its species name is the Latin adjective albus "white". It and the other members of the genus Viscum were originally classified in the mistletoe family Viscaceae, but this family has since been sunk into the larger family Santalaceae.

Mistletoe is present in Classical literature as well: The 4th-century BC Greek writer Aeneas Tacticos recommends (34.1–2) birdlime be used as a substance which will prevent fires from burning wood or other combustible materials, when smeared upon their surfaces, and Virgil writes about it in the sixth book of the Aeneid, where he narrates Aeneas' descent into Hades. The sibyl of Cumae, Virgil says, had ordered Aeneas to find a golden bough, which would have placated the Gods: according to anthropological research, it appears that such branch was, indeed, mistletoe.

 

 

Viscum album - Köhler–s Medizinal-Pflanzen-281

Köhler's Medicinal Plants

 

Viscum album fruit

Visccum album

 

 


[1] Fonte: S. Quirico d' Orcia
[2] Birdlime". Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences 2. 1728. p. 103.
[3] Historically, the substance has been prepared in various ways, and from various materials.
A popular form in Europe was made from holly bark, boiled for 10 to 12 hours. After the green coating is separated from the other, it is stored in a moist place for two weeks. It is then pounded into a thick paste, until no wood fibres remain, and washed in running water until no small specks appear. After fermenting for four or five days, during which it is frequently skimmed, the substance is mixed over a fire with the third part of nut oil. It is then ready for use. (Birdlime". Cyclopædia, or, An universal dictionary of arts and sciences 2. 1728. p. 103.)
Another popular form made in Asia is from the Ilex integra tree.[2]
Birdlime from Damascus was supposed to be made of sebestens, their kernels being frequently found in it; this version was not able to endure frost or wet.[2] That brought from Spain was said to have a bad odor.[2]

 

The Bird-catcher and the Blackbird

 

Bird trapping techniques to capture wild birds include a wide range of techniques that have their origins in the hunting of birds for food. While hunting for food does not require birds to be caught alive, some trapping techniques capture birds without harming them and are of use in ornithology research.

 

34-caccia tortore,Taccuino Sanitatis, Casanatense 4182..jpg

Tacuina sanitatis (XIV century), 14th century, by unknown master - book scan, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1638840

 

In his History of British Birds, Thomas Bewick says that blackbirds "readily suffer themselves to be caught with bird-lime, nooses and all sorts of snares".[1] In general it was trapped for caging as a songbird rather than for food, but there existed an ancient Greek tradition that the songster was under the special protection of the gods and that nets could not hold it.

No less than three poems in the Greek Anthology preserve this belief. The earliest is by Archias of Antioch and concerns fieldfares that are trapped while the blackbird is left free since "the race of singers is holy".[2] Antipater of Sidon tells of a blackbird and a thrush caught in separate snares, from which the blackbird escapes since "even deaf bird-snares feel compassion for singers".[3] Finally, in the poem by Paulus Silentiarus, where a fieldfare and a blackbird are netted, it is Artemis herself, the goddess of hunting, who frees the songbird.[4]

  1. Bewick, Thomas (1797) A History of British Birds. Vol.I, p.121
  2. The Greek Anthology III, p.184
  3. p.40
  4.  p.220

 

Birdlime

 

The Bird-catcher and the Blackbird