Rehabilitated black kite freed in Malta

This video says about itself:

2 October 2017

This juvenile Black Kite was recovered after being spotted by a couple on the beach at Xrobb l-Għaġin. The bird was retrieved on August 4th, at the start of the autumn migration.

An examination by the vet revealed that the bird was illegally shot and had a broken left wing. Under the professional care of our vet and constant monitoring of its health and injured wing, the bird slowly recovered and the wing fully healed.

The bird of prey was released on Comino on September 25th after it was ringed. Comino is a protected bird sanctuary.

Help us rehabilitate more injured birds like this by donating to our new crowdfunding campaign.

(Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Veerle van Werde)

Rehabilitated flamingos freed in Malta

This video from Malta says about itself:

Rehabilitated flamingos released at Għadira Nature Reserve

27 September 2017

Autumn migration of birds is in full swing these days.

Over the past weeks, the Maltese Islands saw a remarkable passage of Greater Flamingos.

Flocks of over a hundred birds together have been seen flying along the coast, consisting of adults and young birds which hatched earlier this year.

When such big movements occur, young weak birds become stranded behind, with these birds ending up often on our beaches, weak and tired.

One Flamingo landed at White Tower Bay in Mellieħa on the 30th August. People immediately called BirdLife Malta and the police, however the bird was picked up and mishandled by an individual and was later recovered by police.

Another Flamingo appeared in Birżebbuġa on the 9th September, following the storms that hit the island the day before. This bird was rescued by BirdLife Malta staff.

Both Flamingos were taken to the attention of a veterinary, who recommended that both birds needed some care and nursing before being let off again in the wild.

Flamingos are protected species, and such birds are prized by taxidermists, thus incurring a serious risk of being shot illegally. Their habitats in Malta are very restricted, with Salina and Għadira being amongst the habitats which are closest to the lakes these birds have hatched in, probably along the Tunisian coast.

Following some specialised care by BirdLife Malta staff, these Flamingos have now been rehabilitated in full health, and following another check by a veterinarian, the birds were deemed as fit for realeasing back into the wild. On the 19th September we released both Flamingos at the Għadira Nature Reserve, after fitting on them unique rings above their knees, so they can be identified should they turn up somewhere else outside Għadira.

We can never tell how long these birds shall stay over, however we can assure that should they turn up along any of Malta’s beaches, we can protect them from being persecuted or harmed.

Unfortunately one of the two Flamingos is still unable to fly, having been mishandled badly when it was recovered. Its injuries should heal, enabling it to eventually migrate.

In the meantime, we appeal to all to take note of the following should a Flamingo be seen:

a) If you see a Flamingo outside the Għadira Nature Reserve, call
BirdLife Malta’s emergency line on 7925 5697 or 21347 646
b) Please do not approach, touch or handle the bird. Its legs and
neck are very delicate and any harm can compromise the bird’s
c) Please assure that until a staff member of BirdLife Malta turns
up, the bird is kept out of harm’s way. If it is approaching danger
like more people or a road, just stand in its way so it doesn’t
proceed further. Please explain this to other people who may
congregate around it.
d) No food or liquids should be offered to the bird. Flamingos are
very specialised filter feeders and they have a very delicate
digestive system.

At BirdLife Malta, we are doing our best to ensure that stranded or injured birds like these are given another chance. If you would like to give us a helping hand, do contribute to our crowdfunding campaign which we have just launched. You can donate here.

Only with your help can we be remain effective in keeping birds out of harm’s way and ensuring they can be returned to the wild in their appropriate environment.

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Veerle van Werde.

Bird crime in Malta update

This video from Malta says about itself:

20 September 2017

Members of the public found this Common Kestrel during an evening walk in Siġġiewi on the 13th September 2017.

The bird was rescued from under a rubber wall, which it has scrambled to, to hide away from people as it was unable to fly.

Afterwards it was taken to the vet where an x-ray was performed,

The x-ray showed a break in the right wing and several pellets. The vet recommended this bird for rehabilitation.

This is the seventh shot bird handed to BirdLife Malta, during this year’s autumn hunting season. An attempt is being made to rehabilitate this bird back to the wild where it belongs.

You can help us to save more injured birds by donating today.

This video from Malta says about itself:

22 September 2017

This Honey Buzzard (Kuċċarda in Maltese) was recovered from Gozo on the 14th of September and immediately taken to the vet.
After a physical examination and an X-ray it was discovered that the protected bird had been illegally shot at. The bird of prey has pellets inside its body but thankfully no broken bones. However the condition of the wings is very bad.

This is the 8th known victim of illegal hunting discovered by BirdLife Malta during this year’s autumn hunting season.

Thankfully with the help of the vet, this European Honey Buzzard will regrow its feathers back to optimum condition and be able to continue its migration journey to Africa.

Another Honey Buzzard was retrieved from Girgenti yesterday, less than a week after the Gozo one. The vet confirmed that this second Honey Buzzard was illegally shot, becoming the 9th known illegally shot protected bird to be collected by BirdLife Malta this autumn.

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Nathaniel Attard.

This video from Malta says about itself:

This Greater Flamingo was retrieved early this morning (Sunday 24th September 2017) from Ħal Far. It has been confirmed shot by the vet and had to be put down due to severe gunshot injuries to its right wing which was completely fractured.

Our Raptor Camp teams were called by a driver along Ħal Far road to collect the shot bird. The driver stumbled upon the juvenile Greater Flamingo which was lying by the side of the street. Police were called to the site and the bird was escorted to the veterinary clinic by them.

Unfortunately the bird had lost a lot of blood from a completely fractured right wing and nothing could be done to save it.

This is the 10th known victim of illegal hunting this autumn hunting season.

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Nathaniel Attard.

This video from Malta says about itself:

24 September 2017

A few hours after the retrieval of a shot juvenile Greater Flamingo recovered from Ħal Far early in the morning of Sunday 24th September, BirdLife Malta was called to retrieve a second shot Flamingo, this time from Marsaskala.

This second injured Flamingo retrieved in a day, this time an adult, becomes the 11th known shot protected bird this autumn hunting season and it is being kept under observation after it was also confirmed shot by the veterinarian. Although it is suffering from serious injuries, as can be seen in this footage, there is hope that the protected bird can survive.

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Nathaniel Attard.

BirdLife Malta was refused access to data about more than 8,000 sites where trapping is authorised each year. The sprawl of trapping sites that has characterised trapping seasons over the past years has resulted in unaccounted destruction of pristine habitats, with little or no enforcement. This has been confirmed following various reports filed by BirdLife Malta requesting action over non-registered trapping sites over the past trapping seasons for which no action has resulted to date: here.

Bird migration in Malta

This video says about itself:

11 September 2017

Bird migration over the Maltese Islands continues.

In this footage we see shots of different bird species migrating over Malta this autumn, including Bee-eaters, Yellow Wagtails, herons and egrets, and also a scarce Caspian Tern at our Salina Nature Reserve.

All this footage was taken over the past days. Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Nathaniel Attard.

Bird crime in Malta, videos

This BirdLife Malta video says about itself:

4 September 2017

After only three days of the 2017 autumn hunting season, we already have the first known victim – an injured European Bee-eater (Qerd in-Naħal) which was shot at Ħal Għaxaq yesterday.

The shot bird – a protected species – was found by people enjoying a Sunday walk yesterday evening. It was found crawling on the ground unable to fly. After being recovered by BirdLife Malta yesterday, this morning it was taken to the vet’s clinic for a veterinary visit. An X-ray was taken and it confirmed a fracture to bird’s right wing as a result of shotgun injury. The vet recommended the bird for rehabilitation with the hope that it is saved.

The Bee-eater is a bird which can easily be distinguished thanks to its pointed, downcurved bill, long pointed wings and tail but above all its rich exotic colours and bright plumage. It is a specialist in catching flying insects and is a common migrant with large flocks seen daily during autumn and spring.

Footage by Antaia Christou, Simon Hoggett and Alice Tribe. Editing by Nathaniel Attard.

This BirdLife Malta video says about itself:

8 September 2017

This Grey Heron (Russett Griż) was found with blood in the football grounds of De La Salle College. The protected bird was found still alive but died a few moments later.

As is normally done in such cases the bird was taken to the veterinarian who confirmed that the protected bird was illegally shot and ended up a victim of illegal hunting. The bird had a shotgun injury to the wing and one of its legs was broken too.

This incident in the grounds of De La Salle College is very similar to the April 2015 case in which a shot protected bird landed in the yard of St Edward’s College in Cottonera (which is very near to De La Salle) while the school children were on their break. At the time this had led Prime Minister Joseph Muscat to close the hunting season prematurely.

The illegally shot Grey Heron in Vittoriosa is the third victim of this year’s autumn hunting season which has only been open for a week. During the past days BirdLife Malta received two shot European Bee-eaters which were retrieved by members of the public in two separate incidents, one in Għaxaq and the other in Dwejra (Malta).

Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Nathaniel Attard.

This BirdLife Malta video says about itself:

8 September 2017

On September 8th, BirdLife Malta was contacted by members of the public to retrieve two shot birds in one day, both of them herons – a protected species.

After the Grey Heron collected from De La Salle school grounds in the morning, a Night Heron (Kwakka) was retrieved from Mġarr ix-Xini in Gozo. Both birds were confirmed shot thus becoming the third and fourth known victims of the 2017 autumn hunting season.

The vet certified the Night Heron collected from Gozo as having been shot in the wing and in the eye. Unfortunately the protected bird, which was retrieved alive, did not make it and succumbed to the shotgun injuries it suffered.

The bird was discovered by 16-year old Sol Pearson, a Xewkija resident, while walking in a nearby valley.

Footage and editing by Nathaniel Attard.

Birds of Malta video

This 6 September 2017 video says about itself:

Here is a video edit with more footage taken during the past days in Malta‘s countryside.

The footage shows three different bird species which are quite common at this time of the year – Barn Swallows, Spotted Flycatchers and Yellow Wagtails.

Footage by Aron Tanti, editing by Nathaniel Attard.