An illegally shot cuckoo has been discovered by a member of the public in Miżieb Woodland, an area overseen by the FKNK hunting federation. The cuckoo, a protected bird, had to be euthanised by a vet as it could no longer fly.
The cuckoo was found by a member of the public who was walking her dog through Miżieb on Wednesday afternoon. “It caught my attention as it was flapping around on the ground next to the path. It was obvious that its wing was badly damaged and it could not fly; I was worried that if it stayed there, it would starve to death.”
The cuckoo (daqquqa kaħla) was still alive but visibly distressed, and could not move its wing. BirdLife Malta immediately brought the cuckoo to a vet, where it was confirmed that it had been shot. The wing was broken, with bone visibly protruding through the feathers. The cuckoo had to be euthanised as the extent of its injuries meant that it would not be able to fly again.
Miżieb is a notorious illegal hunting black spot where volunteers have previously found hundreds of carcasses of illegally shot birds stashed under rocks by hunters. Although public land, the area is overseen by the FKNK who have erected signs warning walkers to keep out during the hunting season.