Hoopoes breed in Gozo and in the South of Malta – KSU

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Hoopoes breed in Gozo and in the South of Malta - KSU

Hoopoes are renowned for tossing and swallowing the food they catch on the spot. Photo – Natalino Fenech

Kaccaturi San Ubertu (KSU) have announced in a statement today that two pairs of hoopoes have bred, one in Gozo and another in the south of Malta, each pair raising three young.

It said that these are the first confirmed breeding records in the Maltese Islands. The organisation said that the were also monitoring another location on the west, but a nest was never confirmed and the activity of the birds was not strong enough to encourage further observation.

KSU reported that the first pair to fledge were the ones in Gozo, where the birds bred in a crevice in the cliffs at San Blas area. The young together with their parents are now being seen flying around the Ramla and Nadur areas.The Gozo birds were spotted on the 27th of May by Jeffrey Vella, a trapper and member of KSU, who suspected they were breeding after he saw the birds flying with food in their bills and going under the cliff edge.Hoopoes breed in Gozo and in the South of Malta - KSU

Hoopoes like to use rubble walls as perches. Photographed last month close to the area were the breeding has been confirmed. Photo – Bernard Farrugia

 

The birds were monitored over several days before they fledged by ornithologist Dr. Natalino Fenech together with KSU members Marcus Camilleri and Peter Paul Azzopardi, who are both hunters and photographers.

KSU pointed out that the birds were monitored from a distance to ensure they were not disturbed in any way. Although Hoopoes can be very tolerant of people, KSU said that it was decided not to try and photograph the birds from a close distance to ensure the birds were not disturbed.

The second pair bred in the south at about the same time, but the young fledged a few days later.

The precise location of the breeding site is not being disclosed as the farmers on whose land they bred do not wish to make it public.

The birds in the south were first noted by hunters and farmers who saw the birds commuting to the same area with food in their bills.Hoopoes breed in Gozo and in the South of Malta - KSU

Hoopoes like to use rubble walls as perches. Photographed last month close to the area were the breeding has been confirmed. Photo – Bernard Farrugia

 

Observations were carried out in the area by those who had noticed the birds, as well as KSU members Bernard Farrugia and Marcus Camilleri, who are both hunters and photographers.

KSU urged farmers and hunters in the area to keep tracking their movements and encourage more recording such sightings, which it aid “are not only important from an ornithological point of view but also continue to prove that the majority of hunters are responsible and law abiding.”

Hoopoes appear in considerable numbers in spring, and are among the first migrants; often appearing in February and they keep being seen until May. They appear in smaller numbers from late August to mid-October.

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    1 Response

    1. Janet RK says:

      We had one on our terrace a couple of months ago in Ghasri, they are beautiful

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