a medieval minute: four and 20 blackbirds

Netting to capture birds

Netting to capture birds and small game.

Medieval people ate a variety of birds avoiding only those that fed on carrion. Particularly prized were swans and just fledged cuckoos, but the list is long and included thrushes, starlings, blackbirds, pheasants, and larks. For the wealthy, the birds were sought-after delicacies while for the poor, a welcomed source of hard-to-obtain protein.

Hunting cranes.

Hunting cranes.

A medieval recipe for a stew made of small birds.


In Europe and around the world, small birds are still delicacies for the rich.

Learn more about what medieval people ate in my novel, The Viscountess and the Templars.

Please support the book on Kindle Scout: https://www.nrdc.org/onearth/killing-fields-songbirds


About medievalphyllis

I love history and I love writing. I've been working on an historical novel about a medieval viscountess, Ermengarde of Narbonne since 2009. It has been quite a journey and the journey isn't over. Previously I written 6 historical novels for kids, but this is a new challenge.
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