Time to join forces to protect birds

January 10, 2017 12:40 pm

The Gozitan hunter who helped out with the feeding of the Mute Swans by BirdLife Malta volunteers (Photo by BirdLife Malta)

BirdLife Malta is calling on the hunters’ federation to join forces to protect birds and to put the past behind them.

The visit of the Mute Swans in Malta has showed that the majority of the Maltese and Gozitans appreciate nature and want to enjoy it without harming it.

BirdLife Malta notes that people who normally hunt also appreciate nature alive.

This can only bode well for the common good of the country. Whilst it is only natural that people want to feed the swans, BirdLife Malta also wanted to highlight the risks that this imposes and that white bread should be avoided as much as possible.

With the help and professional assistance of WBRU’s veterinarian, a protocol of feeding has been established that will enable the Mute Swans to regain strength and store fat to fuel their continuing migration. Eventually the feeding quantities will start being reduced in order to stimulate the birds to seek other feeding quarters and possibly continue with their migration.


BirdLife Malta volunteers being helped to feed the Mute Swans by a hunter in Gozo on Monday. A feeding protocol has been established for the birds with the help of the WBRU veterinarian

This intervention is only needed because our islands do not offer the ideal habitat for such birds. In the meantime, the juvenile swan which was isolated has now rejoined the rest of the flock.


The swans feeding on fodder and other food which is now being regularly thrown to them

BirdLife Malta was on site the first day the birds landed and was very pleased with the immediate action of the Wild Birds Regulation Unit (WBRU); the Veterinary Regulation Department within the Ministry for Sustainable Development, the Environment and Climate Change; and the Police Force in Gozo to secure the safety of the birds without hindering anyone from enjoying these birds.

As part of BirdLife International, the biggest international environmental partnership in the world, BirdLife Malta can obtain immediate and professional help in such circumstances. In view of this, it will always be in a position to collaborate with anyone including the hunters, and to assist the Maltese authorities.

Read the Maltese version of the press release here.

Click here to watch a video edit of the Mute Swans being fed.


Feeding time for the ‘Gozitan’ Mute Swans!