BirdLife Malta has confirmed that it has received its first shot protected bird for this year’s autumn hunting season. This afternoon BirdLife Malta’s staff recovered an injured Honey Buzzard (Maltese: Kuċċarda) from a field in Siggiewi after it was alerted by a member of public.
An X-ray image has revealed nine pellets in the bird’s body and a fracture to its left wing. The bird has been passed over to the ALE for rehabilitation.
In a separate incident, birdwatchers have reported seeing at least two other Honey Buzzards shot down over tal-Virtu’ area limits of Rabat in the evening. The matter was reported to the police.
Honey Buzzards are listed as Annex I species, protected by the Birds Directive, meaning they are a subject to special conservation measures and are not huntable anywhere in the EU. Honey Buzzards are one of the most common targets of illegal hunting in Malta during this time of the year when thousands of these birds are migrating from Europe to Africa.
BirdLife Malta appeals to anyone encountering an illegal hunting to report it to the police on 119 or to BirdLife Malta office on 21347644.