This 26 May 2020 video says about itself:
In May 2020, soon after the spring hunting season in Malta came to an end, BirdLife Malta ringed and satellite-tagged three Turtle-doves as part of an international study aimed at investigating the migratory movements of the European Turtle-dove.
The Turtle-doves, two females and a male, were each fitted with a 5-gram solar-powered satellite tag sponsored by our German BirdLife partners NABU.
The birds were captured from the Comino Bird Observatory operated by the BirdLife Malta Ringing Scheme.
Turtle-dove Marija was fitted with satellite tag #345 and was released on 1st May 2020. Turtle-dove Hope was fitted with satellite tag #348 and was released on 4th May. Turtle-dove Virginijus was fitted with satellite tag #349 and released on 5th May.
Following her release, the first Turtle-dove travelled to Gozo where she spent the night. Satellite transmission went dead immediately next morning. Marija’s last position was registered from Gozo at 7:15am. Given reports of illegal hunting on Gozo received from the same day, we very much fear she was illegally shot down before she could continue her journey further north.
The other two satellite-tagged Turtle-doves, Hope and Virginijus, immediately took off on their migratory journeys. One reached Sicily by 11pm on the same day, whilst the other reached Sicily two days later!
We continue to follow them in earnest to see where they will settle for the breeding season!
You too can follow the migratory journeys of these two Turtle-doves along with that of Francesco, who was satellite-tagged in 2017, on a live map developed by our partners NABU (BirdLife Germany).
To read more about our Turtle-dove satellite-tagging project visit here.
Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Nathaniel Attard.