A flock of rare white storks has made Malta a temporary home, observing the country from various church tops and buildings.
BirdLife Malta observed nine of the majestic birds flying around Malta over the past three days, with sightings in the areas of Żebbuġ, Mosta, Naxxar, Attard, Ta’ Qali and Mtarfa. And while the flock seems to now be down to eight, it looks like the storks are alive and chilling.
Some of them even settled at St. Theresa’s Church in Birkirkara where they rested for the night.
“Over the past nights, these storks have been adorning various church tops and high buildings, looking for the safety of high undisturbed places to spend the night at,” BirdLife announced on Tuesday evening.
Unfortunately, as is the case with most birds in Malta, two of the rare white storks appeared to be suffering from gunshot injuries… with one having a slightly dangling leg and another with blood stains on its belly, leg and tail feathers.
Here’s hoping the fate of these white storks is much better than the 18 which flew to Malta in the summer of 2018, where six were gunned down within days while the rest disappeared and were presumed gunned down too.
It is believed that these storks are a mix of adults and juveniles who originated from Germany after BirdLife spotted one of them with a coloured ring with the label ‘A1C60’ which was traced to Ipsheim in Bavaria.
Storks mate for life and family groups stick together throughout the migration period which means that the birds visiting Malta now could very well be a family.
“While weather conditions in the coming days are not favourable, it is hoped that these beautiful birds will still continue safely on their migration journeys,” BirdLife finished.
BirdLife Malta is calling on the public to help them keep an eye out by reporting any sightings on 21347646 or 79255697.