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Bird Ringing at Manoel Island’s Glacis Park

In an effort to monitor the use of the Glacis Park at Manoel Island by small land birds during spring migration, bird ringers from BirdLife Malta recently held a series of bird ringing sessions at the Island’s Glacis Park.

The Manoel Island Glacis Park is an isolated green area surrounded by an urbanised environment, attracting birds on their journey from southerly wintering areas up to their breeding territories in Europe. The Glacis Park will be rehabilitated as part of MIDI’s plans to develop Manoel Island, providing a public park measuring 80,000sqm for the general public to enjoy and appreciate. The rehabilitation of the Glacis Park will ensure that the natural landscape will be protected and preserved in its present state by means of long-term planning and sustainable use.

Manoel Island

Subalpine Warbler

Bird ringing is the process of fitting wild birds with an individually numbered metal ring, noting the species and if possible, sex and age, and taking various biometrical data such as wing span and weight. Immediately after processing the birds are released back into the wild.

Manoel Island’s Glacis Park is a delightful magnet for birds that land to rest and/or forage after a night of migration over the Sahara and Mediterranean, before continuing their journey further north.

Manoel Island

Wood Warbler

Pictured are a male Subalpine Warbler (MT: Bufula Passarija) and a Wood Warbler (MT: Vjolin Hadrani) all observed at Manoel Island. Apart from migratory birds, bird ringers also encountered local resident and breeding birds which remain in Malta year-round and nest in the Glacis Park, such as the male Spanish Sparrow (MT: Ghasfur tal-Bejt) and male Sardinian Warbler (MT: Bufula Sewda) pictured.

Manoel Island

Sardinian Warbler

Manoel Island

Spanish Sparrow

Bird ringing in the Maltese Islands is carried out by the BirdLife Malta Ringing Scheme. All bird ringers are licenced under this scheme and registered with the relevant local authorities.

 Photographs courtesy of Benjamin Metzger