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Bird Wars on Malta

Nature, Series 7 Episode 1 of 2

28 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 31 July 2012

NATURE: Bird Wars on Malta

Twice each year the skies above the Mediterranean island of Malta are filled with the spectacle of thousands of migrating birds. Kestrels, bee-eaters, honey-buzzards, turtle dove and quail, among other species fly first north, in the Spring, to the breeding grounds of Europe.

They return south in the Autumn to their wintering grounds in sub Saharan Africa. If their migration takes them over Malta, twice each year they must run the gauntlet of hunters' guns. Many of the migrant bird species are protected, only two species are legal quarry for Maltese hunters.

Investigative journalist Matthew Hill travels to Malta to talk to the hunters about the age-long culture of hunting birds on Malta and to investigate allegations of widespread illegal hunting.

Presented by Matthew Hill
Produced by Lizz Pearson.

  • Quail


    Image courtesy of John Harding/BTO

    RSPB - Quail
  • Turtle Dove

    Turtle Dove

    Image courtesy of RSPB

    RSPB - Turtle Dove
  • FKNK - Federation for Hunting and Conservation

    FKNK - Federation for Hunting and Conservation

    Joe Perici Calascione, President of the Federation for Hunting and Conservation.


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