They dined on crane: bird consumption, wild fowling and status in medieval England
By Umberto Albarella and Richard Thomas
Acta zoologica cracoviensia, Vol. 45 (special issue) (2002)
Abstract: In this paper the evidence for the use and consumption of wild birds in medieval England is reviewed. Wild bird bones are generally uncommon on medieval sites, however they are more frequently found on high status sites, such as castles, than in towns and villages, suggesting that they were regarded as luxury food. Both zooarchaeological and historical evidence point to an increase in their consumption in the later Middle Ages and the possible reasons behind this phenomenon are discussed. The distribution of wild birds in different areas of the country is also presented to show how geographic, environmental and cultural factors all contribute to their occurrence on archaeological sites.