Protected Bee-eater shot, just three days into autumn hunting season
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BirdLife Malta has reported the first known victim of the autumn hunting season – just three days after it opened.
An injured European Bee-eater, which BLM said, was shot at Hal Ghaxaq yesterday. “Bee-eaters can easily be distinguished thanks to its pointed, down-curved bill, long pointed wings and tail but above all its rich exotic colours and bright plumage.”
The shot bird, which is a protected species – was found crawling on the ground unable to fly, by people enjoying a Sunday evening walk.
Following the recovery of the bird yesterday by BirdLife Malta, it was taken this morning to the vet’s clinic for further investigation.
BirdLife said that an X-ray confirmed a fracture to the bird’s right wing as a result of a shotgun injury. It was recommended by the vet that the bird have a period of rehabilitation with the hope that it can be saved.
Bee-eaters are specialists in catching flying insects and they are a common migrant with large flocks seen daily during autumn and spring.
Photographs by BirdLife Malta