Malta – 15. 04. 2017
Happy Easter for birdwatchers: First-ever visit of a Black-winged Kite to Malta
The Committee Against Bird Slaughter (CABS) today announced the first ever official record of a Black-winged Kite (Latin name: Elanus caeruleus, Astun Abjad in Maltese) for the Maltese islands.
The rare bird was sighted by a CABS team yesterday afternoon at around 6pm close to the Verdala Palace in Buskett only 6 hours after this year´s hunting season officially closed. The activists, Alexander Heyd and Fabian Karwinkel from Germany, followed the bird for half an hour but then lost visual contact after the kite flew off in the direction of Siggiewi. Before it disappeared the birdwatchers managed to film the bird for a few seconds. "It was great to see such a beautiful rarity flying over Malta without being harmed", Mr. Karwinkel said.
CABS said that the observation has been reported to the Maltese Rarities Committee for birds which is chaired by Edward Bonavia from Birdlife Malta. The organisation also contacted local ornithologist Dr. Natalino Fenech who confirmed the sighting and said that the bird was also observed by hunters.
The Black-winged Kite, which has the size of a small falcon, is a species primarily of open land and semi-deserts in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical Asia. In Europe the bird breeds only in Spain, Portugal and South-west France.
Contact: CABS Press Officer Axel Hirschfeld, fon +0049 179 480 3805 or 99554442 (Maltese mobile) or Email to CABS@komitee.de