[WATCH] Protected bird of prey shot a few days into spring hunting season

Less than a week into the spring hunting season, a marsh harrier injured by a shotgun was received by Birdlife Malta

A marsh harrier was found shot next to the Ghasri main road which leads to Ta' Pinu in Gozo
A marsh harrier was found shot next to the Ghasri main road which leads to Ta' Pinu in Gozo


Photos depicting an injured marsh harrier – a protected bird – were provided by BirdLife Malta, who say that the bird of prey is the first casualty of the spring hunting season to be received by them.

“Although this is the first shot bird received during this year’s spring hunting season, it is the second casualty witnessed following an injured pallid harrier seen flying at Delimara on Sunday,” the NGO said.

The bird appears to have been shot days ago, resulting in injured wings and wounds infected with maggots.

It will be kept under observation for possible rehabilitation, Birdlife said.

The spring hunting season this year, which started on 1 April and runs through 21 April, only allows for the hunting of quail.

Read also: [WATCH] The differences between quail and turtle dove explained ahead of new hunting season

The chosen dates for this spring hunting season coincide with the peak migration period for turtle dove – a vulnerable and protected species. “This puts migrating turtle doves at enormous risk from illegal hunting with BirdLife Malta calling on the public to keep an eye open for any illegalities particularly in this regard,” Birdlife said.

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