Bird-lovers and general fans of cute furballs alike, get ready to meet your new favourite critter. A very rare species of crake was found, photographed and videoed in Malta following last April’s spring hunting season, and the little guy is as cute as they get.
The small bird, a Baillon’s Crake (known in Maltese as a Gallozz tal-Faxxi), was found by Kaċċaturi San Ubertu, and is a particularly unusual sight in Malta. The very rare species is an irregular visitor from mid-March to mid-May in spring, (or October to November later in autumn). Adding to the species’ enigma is how secretive it tends to be. In fact, very few birds have ever been properly recorded, and there have been several years without one single record of the species.
The bird was first noted by Marcus Camilleri and Peter Paul Azzopardi back on the 25th April.
Being such a rare species, KSU informed independent ornithologists Dr Natalino Fenech and Michael Sammut to positively identify the bird. For the following week, KSU members and ornithologists closely monitored closely the little guy.
Later this year, some interesting notes about the secretive bird’s behaviour while on our islands will be published in a scientific journal.
KSU members and the two ornithologists are also monitoring other breeding species in the Maltese islands and hope to be able to make interesting announcements over the coming days.
Incidentally, today marked the opening of the rabbit hunting season. KSU urged members not to disturb any nests and to inform them of any breeding birds in their areas as part of their assistance with ongoing bird monitoring and studies.