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Another protected bird shot

Photo: Birdlife

Photo: Birdlife

Birdlife again called for the hunting season to be suspended this afternoon after it was earlier called upon to rescue a grey heron, another illegally shot protected bird.

The bird was found bleeding and unable to fly in a farmhouse in Żejtun after having been shot in the proximity. It was retrieved by Birdlife staff and Raptor Camp volunteers who are at the moment patrolling Malta’s countryside to monitor illegal hunting at the peak of the raptor migration.

The bird was taken to a vet who certified it had at least one shotgun pellet which shattered the bone in its right wing.

Birdlife CEO Mark Sultana said: “This is the 20th protected bird shot following the shooting of black storks, honey buzzards, night herons and bee-eaters.”

He said it was a disgrace that not only were these illegalities taking place, the government had a nonchalant attitude and ignoring Birdlife’s calls to suspend the season.

“We demand the Government to act now and suspend the season till mid-October. Only this can help the enforcement so that the protected migrating birds can arrive safely to their destinations when flying over Malta,” Mr Sultana said.

The grey heron is a common migratory bird at this time of year. It normally travels in flocks and among the largest heron species seen in the Maltese islands.

All across Europe it is found in both urban and rural areas making it a very familiar sight to the public.

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