Ringed Black-winged Stilt recovered in Malta after 16 years

Stilt was ringed in 2000 as a young chick at the salt pans in Cervia, Ravenna along the Adriatic coast

Black-winged stilt, photographed by Ian Noel Pace
Black-winged stilt, photographed by Ian Noel Pace

A Black-winged Stilt with an Italian ring was seen at Ramla l-Hamra Bay in Gozo on 12 March, the first recovery or so-called control since 2000, when this bird was ringed and last seen.

In the photos captured by Ian Noel Pace, the bird’s ring number was readable and with the help of BirdLife Malta’s Ringing Scheme, the data was later obtained from Italian Ringing Centre.

The data revealed that the stilt was ringed on the 10 June, 2000 as a pullus or a young chick not yet able to fly. This bird was ringed at the salt pans in Cervia, Ravenna along the Adriatic coast.

“BirdLife Malta is delighted by yet another surprising recovery, showing what useful ornithological information scientific bird ringing provides,” conservation manager Nick Barbara said.

“On its first recovery the Black-winged Stilt appears to be healthy and is making its return journey northward to breed. Black-winged Stilts are common spring migrants in Malta, often migrating in small to large flocks, and since 2011 also breed at Ghadira Nature Reserve.”

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