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.

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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.

Birds in Malta on video


This video says about itself:

Different birds at BirdLife Malta’s nature reserves

5 September 2017

Here is some footage taken over the past days at BirdLife Malta’s Salina and Għadira Nature Reserves.

It shows different birds such as a Kingfisher, a Black-necked Grebe, a Greenshank, a Dunlin, a Spanish Sparrow, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Common Sandpiper and a large flock of Little Egrets but also two scarce species – the Caspian Tern (Ċirlewwa Prima) and the Temminck’s Stint (Tertuxa Griża).

Footage by Aron Tanti and Sean Bonello. Editing by Nathaniel Attard.

Birds in Malta, video


This video from Malta says about itself:

BirdLife Malta….WE CARE, EDUCATE, PROTECT, CAMPAIGN, RESEARCH

22 August 2017

This video was prepared for the Birdfair 2017 held at Rutland Water Nature Reserve [in England]. It reflects the several aspects of the work carried out by BirdLife Malta. (Footage by BirdLife Malta, editing by Veerle van Werde)

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.

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)