Three shot protected birds received in one day

September 17, 2015 3:40 pm

Yesterday BirdLife Malta recovered three injured protected birds – a Purple Heron, a Marsh Harrier and a Collared Dove. All of the three birds were reported by members of public and were later confirmed by a veterinary to have shotgun injuries.

The Purple Heron (Russett Aħmar) was found in Mġarr ix-Xini area in Gozo. The pellets had caused a serious fracture to the birds left wing and it was euthanized later today.

A juvenile Marsh Harrier (Bagħdan Aħmar) was recovered from Birzebbuga with an injured right wing. An X-ray later revealed an old shotgun injury to the left wing which the bird had recovered from, and a fresh injury to the right wing with a number of lead pellets in the body. The bird has been passed on to the ALE.

Both of these species are listed as Annex I, granting the highest protection by the Birds Directive.

The Collared Dove (Gamiema tal-Kullar) was found shot in Madliena. The gun shot has fractured its left wing, but the fracture is stable and the Collared Dove is currently being rehabilitated.


These incidents bring this week’s toll of shot birds recovered by BirdLife Malta to four. The organization reiterated that these cases give an indication of the amount of illegal shooting taking place during this autumn hunting season as many illegally shot birds go unreported. BirdLife Malta advised members of the public to report illegal hunting incidents to the police on 119 or to the organization on 21347 644.