BirdLife Malta is calling on the public to look out for any stranded seabirds that may have become disorientated when fledging for the first time.
In a statement, the eNGO explained that at this time of year, young Scopoli’s Shearwaters fledge and leave their remote cliff-side nesting locations for the open sea. However, light pollution from bright coastal lights can leave these young seabirds disorientated increasing their chances of becoming stranded inland in roads, seafronts, ports, towns, and other urbanised areas.
Where possible, stranded birds should be collected and gently placed in a cardboard box. The birds should not be given any food or water; but kept in a quiet place until they are retrieved by BirdLife Malta staff to be safely released back at sea. BirdLife Malta can be reached on 2134 7644 (office hours) or on 7925 5697 (emergency out of office).
As in the past fledging seasons of these secretive birds, Birdlife Malta is calling on the public to report any sightings or findings of stranded Scopoli’s Shearwaters to BirdLife Malta.
The Scopoli’s Shearwater, the larger of the two shearwater species, has an estimated population of slightly less than 4,000 pairs in Malta, approximately 2% of the world breeding population. This protected species of seabird, which can be recognised by its grey-brown back with white underbelly and yellow bill, can often be seen ‘shearing’ over the tops of waves.