Greek birdwatchers yesterday labeled illegal a decision by the Agricultural Development Ministry to end the hunting season for birds at the end of February. The ministry recently set August 20 as the start of the hunting season and February 27 next year as its end. However, the hunting of some birds, such as the blackbird, will have to stop earlier in February, according to the ministry’s directive. Members of the Hellenic Ornithological Society told Kathimerini that this would be impossible to enforce and would result in birds that should be under protection being shot by hunters. The birdwatchers say that the hunting season for all birds should end on January 31, in line with European Union directives, as their reproductive and migratory period begins in February.