New breeding species for Malta

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World News archive. | Bird News archive for Europe | Bird News for Malta |  New breeding species for Malta

First breeding record of Little Grebe

BirdLife Malta has confirmed the first breeding record of Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis in the Maltese Islands. The nest was discovered on 10 Febraury at Simar Nature Reserve by BirdLife Malta council member Raymond Galea.

The news was not entirely unexpected, as a pair of Little Grebes had been observed displaying courtship behaviour and carrying nest material at the site for a number of weeks. The nest itself is situated in the reserve's dense reedbed, making it difficult to observe. However, three chicks were seen climbing onto the nest soon after its discovery.

Little Grebe is an annual winter visitor to the Maltese Islands and frequents both nature reserves managed by BirdLife Malta - Ghadira and Simar. It is a secretive and shy bird and rarely ventures out on open water.

This breeding record is another success for BirdLife Malta, who started works on Simar in 1992. The site was abandoned and used as a rubbish tip and sewage outflow, and initially there was opposition to the project by locals.

However, the new breeding species is further evidence that degraded land can be rehabilitated back to a rich natural state. Since BirdLife Malta started managing the site, Little Bittern, Reed Warbler and Moorhen have also bred in the area, and at Ghadira, Little Ringed Plover has also established itself as a regular breeding bird.

The Birder's Market | Resource | Bird news for Britain / Rest of the World | World Bird News | World News archive. | Bird News archive for Europe | Bird News for Malta |  New breeding species for Malta

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