Yesterday, Gozo Minister Justyne Caruana played down concerns over the uprooting of ficus trees at the main carpark in Xlendi, pledging they would be replanted, but after a video was shared to Gozitan Facebook group GOZONE showing the local sparrows unable to return to their nests, residents went up in arms again.
In the video, which was sent to Lovin Malta by the original poster, you can see a flock of sparrows circling the area in a distressed attempt to find their homes
The birds returned to their nesting spot in anticipation of last night’s storm… only to find their homes had been given the chop – something the public didn’t take too well to
Munxar mayor Damien Spiteri, whose council has responsibility over Xlendi, has pressured the Gozo Ministry to ensure that all uprooted trees are replanted as promised, but that doesn’t leave much hope for these sparrows who now have to find a new place to nest.
BirdLife Malta run an initiative that maps the roosting spots of sparrows in Malta, as they are currently protected in Malta, but this instance of pollarding and upheaval will now result in possibly one less mark on the map.
BirdLife’s site for the Spot a Sparrow initiative reads:
“We are especially interested in mapping sparrow roosts, where sparrows gather in autumn and winter evenings to sleep. Trees used for roosting are easy to identify, as birds get really loud right before going to sleep – and it’s important that we know where they are, so that they can be better protected.”
At the time of writing, the initial video shared on Facebook yesterday has garnered just under 100 comments and a whopping total of 363 shares.