Malta’s Secretive Seabirds


Life+ Malta Seabird Project

P1110684 Ed Drewitt and Ben Metzger admiring the views from the top of a Scopoli’s Shearwater colony

Standing on the golden limestone cliffs that were once the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea, I paused to appreciate these sheer vertical forms on the island of Gozo in Malta in later summer this year. Metres away Birdlife Malta’s seabird scientists Dr Ben Metzger (head of seabird research) and Paulo Lago Barreiro were showing myself and Caroline Rance (also Birdlife Malta) how to look for signs of something very special living here. We could see some splashes of poo and a few white feathers; kneeling down on the hard, crusty rocks we peered with torches into a shallow burrow that had been scarped out beneath a huge boulder. At the end in a larger space a large ball of fluff shuffled and revealed a glistening eye and beak. This was a seabird, a baby in…

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