The Malta Independent 14 November 2019, Thursday

Secretive birds: BirdLife Malta members enjoying shearwaters at sunset

Saturday, 11 July 2015, 14:38 Last update: about 5 years ago

Over two hundred people have set sail on BirdLife Malta’s sunset boat trips to experience the natural spectacle of hundreds of incoming Scopoli’s shearwaters (ċiefa) as they return to their nests deep in the Ta’ Cenc cliffs,  Gozo, the NGO said.

During the trips, participants were able to see these amazing birds up close as some 800 birds surrounded the boats.  The adult birds spend all day at sea, finding food to bring back to their single chick. Secretive birds, shearwaters will only return to their nest under cover of darkness; and at dusk hundreds of birds may be seen gathering together on the sea waiting to return to their young.

Malta is home to 5% of the world’s Scopoli’s shearwaters, with 1000 pairs nesting at Ta’ Cenc alone. The EU LIFE+ Malta Seabird Project, led by BirdLife Malta, has been researching their lives with the aim of creating Marine Protected Areas to safeguard Malta’s seabirds.

BirdLife Malta is organising further boat trips in August, open to members and the general public. Interested readers can email ‘[email protected]


Photo Johan Siggeson

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