Blue rock thrush, swift news from Malta

This video says about itself:

First ever Blue Rock Thrush rehabilitated by BirdLife Malta

27 July 2017

The Blue Rock Thrush, as its Latin name suggests (Monticola solitarius), is a solitary species that settles around mountains. Monticola derives from ‘montis’, meaning [of] mountain and ‘colere’, which means to dwell in Latin.

The Blue Rock Thrush (Merill in Maltese) is the national bird of Malta and was featured on the Malta Ornithological Society (MOS) logo for more than 30 years. The Blue Rock Thrush also featured on coins and postage stamps in 1971.

This species has a very melodic song and it can usually be seen on the cliffs around Malta. It feeds mostly on insects and snails, but also consumes reptiles and fruit. The incubation period lasts for 15 days and then the juvenile birds are fed for another 15 days. Then they fledge the nest, while their parents still feed them for a few more days.

This Blue Rock Thrush was found in Mellieħa on the 5th of July 2017 by a member of the public when it was still very young. It was passed on to BirdLife Malta, and spent two weeks under our intensive care. This is the first time that BirdLife Malta has received this species of bird for rehabilitation and this juvenile Blue Rock Thrush was successfully released at our Għadira Nature Reserve on the 20th of July.

The bird was fitted with a unique ring, which will allow us to learn more about its journey.

We would like to thank members of the public who called BirdLife Malta after finding this juvenile Blue Rock Thrush. It is with your support that this bird and others are now fit and flying free.

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Veerle van Werde.

Decades ago, I saw a blue rock thrush in Malta. Later, I saw them again in Morocco and Spain.

This video says about itself:

Swifts released in Mellieħa

18 July 2017

People used to believe that swifts didn’t have any feet. Their family Latin name Apus is derived from the Ancient Greek α (a), meaning ‘without’ and πούς (pus) meaning ‘foot’. Their legs are short and they are used mainly for grabbing on to vertical surfaces like cliffs and walls, since this is where they nest. However, they spend the majority of their lives on the wing, sometimes not landing for ten months and will not land unless it is to nest.

These two swifts, a Common Swift and a Pallid Swift, were found on the ground by members of the public and handed over to BirdLife Malta when they were still juveniles. Then they spent almost three weeks under our care, where their diet and weight was monitored constantly. After that they were both fit enough to fly again and continue their long journey towards central Africa.

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Weerle van Werde.

3 thoughts on “Blue rock thrush, swift news from Malta

  1. Pingback: Birds in Malta, video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Rare black-throated thrush in the Netherlands | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Swifts flying, new study | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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