Update: Marsh Harrier with shotgun injury found by the public in Gozo
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Update with video below – The first casualty of the spring hunting season was received by BirdLife Malta in Gozo today, after members of the public found an injured Marsh Harrier next to the Ghasri main road which leads to Ta’ Pinu.
BirdLife Malta said that the protected bird of prey was found suffering from an injury to its wing, having sustained shotgun injuries days ago, the wounds were already infected with maggots.
A vet confirmed that the harrier had a shotgun injury to the left wing and it is now under observation for possible rehabilitation, the NGO said.
This is the first shot bird received during this year’s spring hunting season which opened last Sunday, said BirdLife Malta, however, “it is the second casualty witnessed following an injured Pallid Harrier seen flying at Delimara on Sunday.”
The spring hunting season started on 1st April and will run until the 21st April, both days included. Hunting is permitted from 2 hours before sunrise till 12pm every day of the season, from Monday to Sunday.
BirdLife Malta said that anything outside of these dates and times is therefore illegal. This year the only huntable species is Quail and all other bird species including the vulnerable Turtle Dove are protected. Trapping is not permitted during spring and is illegal.
Photograph by BirdLife Malta