Birdlife and bird crime in Malta

This BirdLife in Malta video says about itself:

10 April 2017

After the waterfowl migration, we are now at the peak of the spring migration for herons and egrets. Raptor migration is also picking up.

Spring migration occurs between mid-March and the end of May when birds leave their wintering grounds in Africa to travel back to Europe to breed. It is in the birds’ instinct that as soon as this beautiful time of year arrives they start to build up fat and change plumage to enable them to start their long migratory trip.

During this mammoth migration, birds face many obstacles including the arduous journey over the Sahara Desert and the Mediterranean Sea, making the Maltese Islands a crucial stop-over point on the migration route for these birds to seek refuge and rest before continuing further north.

Here is some footage of different heron species which were observed at our Għadira Nature Reserve in the past days. A number of Grey Herons spent the night at the reserve where a Squacco Heron was also spotted together with a Little Egret.

Footage by Aron Tanti, editing by Nathaniel Attard.

This BirdLife in Malta video says about itself:

7 April 2017

As the spring migration continues, here is some footage of different bird species which were observed during the past days in different parts of the Maltese Islands.

Spring is the most beautiful season of the year and at this time of year many families enjoy the Maltese countryside and also visit BirdLife Malta‘s nature reserves to have a close encounter with nature. This is just a glimpse of what one can find right now in different parts of Malta and Gozo.

Footage by Antaia Christou, Simon Hoggett and Aron Tanti. Editing by Nathaniel Attard.

This BirdLife in Malta video says about itself:

The latest casualty of the 2017 spring hunting season is another protected bird of prey – a shot male Lesser Kestrel which was retrieved by the Gozo Police yesterday (4th April 2017). The Lesser Kestrel was suffering from injuries to the right wing and the left leg and had to be euthanised.

This BirdLife in Malta video says about itself:

3 April 2017

From birds of prey such as Marsh Harriers and a Common Kestrel to other smaller birds such as a Common Swift, a Barn Swallow and Hoopoes, the first week of the 2017 spring hunting season has already taken its toll on several protected species. Nothing was spared, as the total of known illegally shot birds since the start of the season on Saturday 25th March has now reached eight. Four of these protected birds succumbed to their injuries after they were shot down. More than half of these illegally shot birds were retrieved just over the last weekend alone from different parts of Malta and Gozo.

This Marsh Harrier was the first casualty of the season. It was retrieved from a field in Selmun on the second day of the hunting season. The vet confirmed it was shot and suffering from injuries to its right wing.

The fact that all of these shot birds were retrieved from different localities across Malta and Gozo clearly indicates that illegalities are widespread across the country during the current open spring hunting season. One needs to keep in mind that these retrieved injured birds represent only a fraction of the illegal hunting which is actually happening in the countryside.

This is why BirdLife Malta reiterated its call on the Government and on Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to close the hunting season with immediate effect as it had done in the past.

(Footage by Nicholas Barbara, editing by Nathaniel Attard)

This BirdLife in Malta video says about itself:

28 March 2017

Here is some footage of three Purple Herons (Russett Aħmar) in flight at Delimara. This footage was shot by volunteers from our Conservation team this morning.

The Purple Heron is a slender, snaky-necked heron of reedbeds and dense marshes. It is somewhat smaller than the Grey Heron, from which it can be distinguished by its darker reddish-brown plumage, and, in adults, darker grey back. It has a narrower yellow bill, which is brighter in breeding adults. It is often hard to see as it prefers to hide in the reeds, unlike the Grey Heron.

The long neck of the Purple Heron looks particularly snake-like, with more of an S-shape in flight. The call is a loud croaking “krek”.

This bird is regularly seen during migration; some singles, some in flocks and some in mixed flocks with other herons, mainly Grey Herons. (Footage by Antaia Christou, editing by Nathaniel Attard)

This BirdLife in Malta video says about itself:

On Sunday 26th March 2017 a flock of around 15 Black-winged Stilts spent a day at Is-Salina Nature Reserve.

Here is some footage of the salt pans full of life, as the beautiful birds attracted lots of people to the area as they mingled with other species which were feeding and resting on site at the time. It was the third time in a week that Black-winged Stilts were noticed at the Salina salt pans during the 2017 spring migration. (Footage and editing by Nathaniel Attard)

7 thoughts on “Birdlife and bird crime in Malta

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