Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain
the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in
Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles
From October to January, millions of birds from central and northern Europe winter in the Mediterranean basin. Suction olive harvesting at night kills these legally protected birds on a catastrophic scale as they rest in the bushes. This year, Spain’s Andalusian government recommended that the practice be stopped; currently, an estimated 2.6 million birds are vacuumed up annually in the country (see go.nature.com/2zkomts). Other big olive-producing countries should follow their lead.