Turkish authorities believe that they have found a bird used for espionage purposes by Israel, the country's media reported.This is not the first time that animals were mistaken for Mossad agents. There were the 14 squirrels that Iran arrested and executed for being spies for Israel. Or again the Iranians insisted that pigeons were spying for Israel. They too were executed. Then Vinnie the Vulture was caught spying against Saudi Arabia. And who can forget Sammy the Shark. First he terrorized the Sinai, then Gaza. There have been reports that Mossad operates out of the Cairo Zoo. There George the Giraffe and the boss Hymie the Hippo keep tabs on Egypt. Now we have seen the death of Agent Bernie the Bee-Eater. I suppose these idiots will now keep tabs on the flies. After all Mossad can fit them with electronics.
According to a Tuesday report in Yedioth Ahronoth, an investigation to that effect was launched in Ankara several days ago, after a farmer discovered a dead Merops Apiaster, commonly known as the European Bee-Eater, in his field. The bird had a ring reading "Israel" on one of its legs.
Bird-banding is a common practice in ornithology, meant to help scientists track bird migration routes.
The band, however, was not the most damning piece of evidence against the bee-eater: Its nostrils were.
The bird-beak in question reportedly sported "unusually large nostrils," which – combined with the identification ring – raised suspicions that the bird was "implanted with a surveillance device" and that it arrived in Turkey as part of an espionage mission.
The bird's remains were originally handed over to the Turkish Agriculture Ministry, which then turned in over to Ankara's security services.
News of the "spy bird" spread quickly within Turkey's ornithological community, and Israeli ornithologists soon got word of it as well.
The Society for Protection of Nature in Israel was alerted and was able to confirm that the bird was banded about four years ago, as a matter of routine.
Yoav Pearlman, of the Israeli Birdwatching Center, explained that Israel's north is home to a large bee-eater population, and that many more use Israel as a stop in their migration route, which includes Turkey, southern Europe and Russia.
"The Turkish authorities can rest easy – it's not a spy," Pearlman said.
Israeli wildlife officials said that this was not the first time that Israeli birds landing in Arab countries as part of their migration were "detained" for alleged espionage. Such birds, they added, usually disappear.
In January of 2011, Saudi Arabia announced that it "detained" a vulture carrying an Israeli band.
The griffon vulture was carrying a GPS transmitter bearing the name of Tel Aviv University and was condemned for being a part of a "Zionist espionage plot."
Squirrels Arrested in Iran for Spying!