Birdlime is a viscid, adhesive substance used in trapping
birds. It is spread on a branch or twig, upon which a bird may land and be caught. Its use is illegal in many countries.
Historically, the substance has been prepared in various ways, and from various materials. A popular form was made from
hollybark, 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 a third part of nut oil. This is then ready for use.
Other versions with varying success were known to be used. Birdlime from
Damascuswas supposed to be made of sebestens, their kernels being frequently found in it; this version was not able to endure frost or wet. That brought from Spainwas said to have a bad odor. That of the Italianswas made of mistletoeberries, heated, mixed with oil, as before; to make it water resistant, they added turpentine. It was said that the bark of the wayfaring tree(" Viburnumlantana"), made birdlime as good as the best.
In the Valencian region of Spain, birdlime (locally known as "parany") is commonly used to capture
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, using birdlime to capture in particular the much prized Song Thrush is still tolerated in this region. es icon cite web |url= http://www.lasprovincias.es/valencia/prensa/20061214/cvalenciana/entramado-para-cazar-tordos_20061214.html |title= Un entramado para cazar tordos |author= Las Provincias|date= December 14 2006|quote= ] es icon cite web |url= http://www.lukor.com/not-neg/sectores/0412/09121501.htm |title= El Tribunal de la UE condena a España por permitir la caza con 'parany' en la Comunidad Valenciana |author= Europa Press] cite web |url= http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex/lex/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:62003J0079:EN:HTML |title= Failure of a Member State to fulfil obligations – Directive 79/409/EEC – Conservation of wild birds – Hunting using limed twigs - Summary of the Judgment |author= Commission of the European Communities|date= December 09 2004|quote= ]
Nathaniel Atcheson in his
1811work "On the Origin and Progress of the North-West Company of Canada with a history of the fur trade..." mentions birdlime (p 14) as an important import commodity for use in the Canadian west in the late 18th century.
*In modern times with the disuse of bird liming, the word "bird lime" is sometimes misunderstood and used wrongly to mean bird
faeces, from its appearance as white splashes.
*"Bird lime" is also providentially sticky, hence it may be used to refer to a "sticky-fingered person" or some such.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.