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  • Loons, Auks, Gannets & Cormorants | Birds of Malta

    Auks, Gannets & Cormorants Puffin Atlantic Puffin Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* One of the recent records is of a single individual seen near the shores of Marsascala in September 2010. A small bird, white bellied, black back, orange feet and a large orange to greenish bill. Bill in juveniles almost black, and much less deep than in adults. Adults in winter plumage also show much darker bill and cheeks than in summer. At a distance head gives an all dark impression, with characteristic dark "shadow " in front of the eye. Wings rounded with dark undersides. "Thighs" dark. Flight fluttering and energic, with shifting weight and angle. ​ ​ Diet Small fish but occasionally crustaceans. ​ Longevity record 45 years (A shot bird at Iceland, 56309) Purċinell tal-Baħar Fratercula arctica Charadriiformes Alcidae Very rare Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in January, March, October, December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. summer Ad. summer Ad. summer 1/2 Pictures taken abroad Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 28 - 34 50 - 60 320 - 480 Back to Glossary Razorbill Razorbill Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Last record of a single individual seen in the Maltese - Gozo channel on January 2022. At a distance quite similar to Guillemot. Bill deep, rectangular and with white markings. Flanks unstreaked and armpits white. Tail longer than in Guillemot, with legs not protruding behind tail in flight. Tail often held clear of the surface when swimming. Cheeks white in winter, with broad, short and black eye stripe. Neck collar short and wide. Upperparts blacker, and underparts whiter than Guillemot. Heavy neck, head and bill, in combination with the long tail, gives it a front heavy, and different profile from Guillemot, whether perched, swimming or flying. Top of head in line with tip of uptilted bill when swimming. ​ Diet Small fish but occasionally crustaceans. ​ Longevity record 42 years 0 months (Controlled by a ringer in the UK, AT 73954) Mus tal-Baħar Alca Torda Charadriiformes Alcidae Vagrant Usually seen in - Occasionally seen in January, November, December Click on the image to open slideshow 1/1 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 38 - 43 60 - 69 600 - 840 Back to Glossary Northen Gannet Northern Gannet Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but can be seen in small groups. White with black wing tips and yellow-buff at back of head. Juveniles brown with small pale speckles, white u-shaped rump patch and pale underparts. Fully coloured only after 5 years, and patchy, intermediate plumages often seen. Unmistakable bird at close range or with favorable light, but can be confused with shearwaters at a distance and/or in strong wind. Differs from those by long tail and much longer neck and head. Alternates between powerful, even and shallow wing-beats and glides. Flight becomes more shearwater-like in strong winds. ​ ​ Diet Mostly fish and squid. ​ Longevity record 37 years (Found dead in the UK, 1010527) Sula Morus bassanus Suliformes Sulidae Scarce Usually seen in October - March ​ Occasionally seen in April, September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Immature (3rd/4th-cal.-yr) Yellowish head so 3rd yr+. Secondaries are still dark so this bird is still not in its full adult plumage. the back cannot be seen so it should either be a 3rd or 4th-cal. yr. Ad. Yellowish head and white secondaries indicative of an adult. Ad. Yellowish head and white secondaries indicative of an adult. Immature (3rd/4th-cal.-yr) Yellowish head so 3rd yr+. Secondaries are still dark so this bird is still not in its full adult plumage. the back cannot be seen so it should either be a 3rd or 4th-cal. yr. 1/7 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 85 - 97 170 - 192 2.9 - 3.2 Back to Glossary Great Cormorant Great Cormorant Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups but can be seen in flocks and single individuals. A large, heavy built with a thick neck blackish bird. Head diagnostically wedge-shape, with the back of the head as the highest point. Bill never yellow (but yellow naked area at base of bill). Often dives without jumping, more common in brackish water, often flies high, and often chooses high ground or objects when perching. ​ ​ Diet Mostly fish and occasionally crustaceans. ​ Longevity record 32 years (Found dead in Iceland, 623) Margun Phalacrocorax carbo Suliformes Phalacrocoracidae Fairly common ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in September - March ​ Occasionally seen in April - May ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Juv. 1/22 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 77 - 94 121 - 149 2.2 - 3.6 *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Geese, Ducks & Swans | Birds of Malta

    Swans, Geese & Ducks Mute Swan Mute Swan Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Big and white waterfowl with orange bill and black knob at base of bill. Juveniles more greyish. Neck usually held more S-shaped than other swans when swimming. Long tail prominent when upending. ​ ​ Diet Swans eat aquatic vegetation, molluscs, small fish, frogs and worms. They will graze big grassy fields, and can survive quite successfully in a field of short-cropped grass. ​ Longevity record 28 years (A dead bird found in the UK, Z 40808) Ċinju Cyngus olor Anseriformes Anatidae Very rare Usually seen in December - January ​ Occasionally seen in March ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Juv. Dirty look with juvenile brown feathers, a pinkish bill and a lighter lore. Juv. Dirty look with juvenile brown feathers, a pinkish bill and a lighter lore. Ad. All white body and dirty looking neck, orange-red bill and a black lore in adults. Juv. Dirty look with juvenile brown feathers, a pinkish bill and a lighter lore. 1/18 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 140 - 160 200 - 240 9.0 - 13.0 Back to Glossary Red-breasted goose Red-breasted Goose Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Chestnut-red breast and cheek. It has a short and thick neck and a rounded head with a very short dark beak. A very distinctive colorful pattern with a contrast of chestnut-red , white and black plumage. ​ ​ Diet Breeding Red-breasted Geese will usually feed on grass leaves and the shoots of cotton-grasses. In their wintering territories, they usually take winter wheat, barley, maize, and pasture grasses. ​ Longevity record 15 years Wiżża Ħamra Branta ruficollis Anseriformes Anatidae Vagrant Usually seen in - Occasionally seen in December Click on the image to open slideshow 1/3 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 54 - 60 110 - 125 1.0 - 1.5 Back to Glossary Greylag Greylag Goose Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Large, pale grey goose with bulky body and thick neck. Thick pink to orange (carrot-like) bill, without any dark markings. Almost giving the impression of being "false". Uniform colour of body. Light grey forewing stands out in flight. Pink legs. ​ ​ Diet Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain. ​ Longevity record 24 years 0 months (Ring read in the field in Denmark, 7775) Wiżża Griża Anser anser Anseriformes Anatidae Very rare Back to Glossary Usually seen in December ​ Occasionally seen in October, November, January, April ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/2 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 74 - 84 149 - 168 3.1 - 4.3 Bean goose Taiga Bean Goose Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Orange legs, black and orange bill. Differs from juvenile White-fronted Goose by less contrast between cheeks and base of bill and crown, more prominent pale edges on back feathers, and by bill colour. Has much darker back than Pink-footed Goose (and never greyish). Colour of legs and bill can be surprisingly difficult to judge in unfavourable light. 2 subspecies that may be considered separate species in near future: A.f.rossicus has shorter bill with more extensive black markings than A.f.fabalis. ​ ​ Diet Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain. ​ Longevity record 25 years 7 months (Found dead in Germany, 210151) Wiżża tal-Ful Anser fabalis Anseriformes Anatidae Very rare Back to Glossary Usually seen in December - January Occasionally seen in November, February Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 68 - 88 140 - 174 3.0 - 3.6 Greater White fronted goose Greater White-fronted Goose Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Orange legs and all pink bill without markings. Adults with white bill base and black markings on belly. Juveniles lacking those characters. Body shape and head more angular than other geese. Could be confused with Lesser White-fronted Goose, but Lesser have an obvious yellow eye-ring, and much more white around bill base. Wings more narrow than other grey geese. ​ ​ Diet Grass, roots, cereal leaves and spilled grain. ​ Longevity record 25 years 3 months (Shot in the Netherlands, 8008491) Wiżża tal-Maskra Bajda Anser albifrons Anseriformes Anatidae Very rare Back to Glossary Usually seen in November - January Occasionally seen in February Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 64 - 78 130 - 160 2.0 - 2.9 Common Goldeneye Common Goldeneye Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Small, stocky diving duck with short bill, big triangular head and yellow eyes (dark in juveniles). Male: dark metallic green head and white patch at base of bill. Black back and tail. Neck, breast and underparts white. Female with brown head, white collar and pale underparts. White, square wing panels and dark underwing in both sexes. ​ ​ Diet Feeds mainly on small fish, also crustaceans, aquatic insects, and sometimes frogs, tadpoles, or worms. Young ducklings eat mostly insects. ​ ​ Longevity record 16 years 11 months (Russian Federation, D18692) Brajmla tal-Għajna Bucephala clangula Anseriformes Anatidae Vagrant Back to Glossary Usually seen in --- Occasionally seen in November - February Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. female Female with brown head, white collar and pale underparts. Ad. female Female with brown head, white collar and pale underparts. 1/1 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 40 - 48 62 - 77 800 - 1100 Red-breasted Merganser Red-breasted Merganser Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Noticeably smaller and more slender than Goosander. Bill much thinner, especially at base. Both sexes with more shaggy crest than Goosander. Male: dark head, white collar. Only sawbill with (medium) dark chest. Female differs from Goosander by smooth transition from brown head to grey lower neck, and less contrasting white throat patch. Striking white wing-bars with crossing black stripe visible in flight. ​ ​ Diet Feeds mainly on small fish, also crustaceans, aquatic insects, and sometimes frogs, tadpoles, or worms. Young ducklings eat mostly insects. ​ Longevity record 21 years 4 months (A shot bird in Sweden, W 107522) Serra Mergus serrator Anseriformes Anatidae Very scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January, March - April, September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. female Brown head, white bars on the secondaries and greater secondary coverts, very pale brown chest and white belly. Ad. female Brown head, white bars on the secondaries and greater secondary coverts, very pale brown chest and white belly. Ad. female Brown head, white bars on the secondaries and greater secondary coverts, very pale brown chest and white belly. 1/10 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 52 - 58 69 - 82 800 - 1100 Common Shelduck Common Shelduck Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in flocks but also in smaller groups. A big sized duck which gives an overall white impression. Reddish breast-band, dark blackish green head and black flight-feathers. Tip of tail black and adults with dark belly-band. Bill red. Males with red knob at base of bill. Juveniles duller, with white chin and no breast-band. ​ ​ Diet Small molluscs, small crustacea, small fish and fish spawn, occasionally insects and their larvae and a small amount of plant material, mainly algae. ​ Longevity record 24 years (Dead specimen found in the UK, GM 96505) Kuluvert tas-Salib Tadorna tadorna Anseriformes Anatidae Fairly common Back to Glossary Usually seen in December - January ​ Occasionally seen in February - April, September - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. male Completely black head, more contrasting rufous and black patterns on the white breast and belly feathers, thicker bill and older male adults will grow a knob on the upper part of the bill. Ad. male Completely black head, more contrasting rufous and black patterns on the white breast and belly feathers, thicker bill and older male adults will grow a knob on the upper part of the bill. 1/24 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 55 - 65 100 - 120 800 - 1130 Ruddy Shelduck Ruddy Shelduck Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* ​ This shelduck has short, dark legs, dark bill, thick neck and a distinctive rufous belly. Black and white wings conspicuous in flight. Sexes quite similar. Male with ringed neck in breeding plumage, and female with more contrasting facial pattern. Immature similar to female, but with "dirty" white wing-patches. Less dependent on water than most other ducks. ​ ​ Diet It is omnivorous and feeds on grasses, the young shoots of plants, grain and water plants as well as both aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates. ​ ​ Longevity record ---- Kuluvert Aħmar Tadorna ferruginea Anseriformes Anatidae Vagrant Usually seen in --- Occasionally seen in May, September - March Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. female Note white face mask more prominent than in males and it does not have the black-neck collar such in males. Ad. female Note white face mask more prominent than in males and it does not have the black-neck collar such in males. Ad. female Note white face mask more prominent than in males and it does not have the black-neck collar such in males. Ad. female Note white face mask more prominent than in males and it does not have the black-neck collar such in males. 1/4 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 58 - 70 110 - 135 900 - 1500 Back to Glossary Red-crested Pochard Red-crested Pochard Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Big and plump-bodied diving duck with long neck, rounded head and long bill. Male unmistakable with it's red head, long deep-red bill, distinct white flank-patches and black belly. The contrasting light grey cheeks of the female recalls female Common Scooter, but note round head, pale body and much longer neck and bill. Both sexes with very broad and striking white wingbar clearly visible in flight. ​ ​ Diet Red-crested pochards feed mainly on the roots, seeds, and vegetative parts of aquatic plants, and sometimes supplement their diet with aquatic invertebrates, amphibians, mollusks, tadpoles, or small fish. ​ ​ Longevity record 8 years, 5 months (Ring number read in the field in the UK, 940448) Brajmla tat-Toppu Aħmar Netta rufina Anseriformes Anatidae Vagrant Back to Glossary Usually seen in --- Occasionally seen in September - November Click on the image to open slideshow Adult males Rusty-orange rounded head with a lighter whitish crown and a coral-red bill. Black centre belly, rump and stern. White flank,underwings and broad wing-bars. Adult male Rusty-orange rounded head with a lighter whitish crown and a coral-red bill. Black centre belly, rump and stern. White flank,underwings and broad wing-bars. Adult male Rusty-orange rounded head with a lighter whitish crown and a coral-red bill. Black centre belly, rump and stern. White flank,underwings and broad wing-bars. Adult males Rusty-orange rounded head with a lighter whitish crown and a coral-red bill. Black centre belly, rump and stern. White flank,underwings and broad wing-bars. 1/3 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 53 - 57 85 - 9 0 900 - 1400 Common Pochard Common Pochard Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but occasionally in small groups. Medium sized diving duck. Male with rufous brown head and pale grey body. Female indistinctly coloured in grey and brown, with diffuse head markings. Easiest identified by fairly distinct head profile; long bill continuous with sloping forehead, ending in peaked crown (both sexes). Bulky body and short neck. Both sexes with long, pale grey wing-bars. Juveniles like female, except body warmer brown. ​ ​ Diet They feed by diving or dabbling, eating aquatic plants with some mollusks, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night, and when diving for food may feed upside down during feeding. ​ Longevity record 23 years (A shot specimen in the UK, GK 61258) Brajmla Aythya ferina Anseriformes Anatidae Scarce Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 42 - 49 67 - 75 770 - 970 Back to Glossary Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January - May, July - September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. male Male with rufous brown head, half brown half black neck and a black breast. Belly, saddle and upperwings are pale grey. Black undertail coverts and tail. Red irises. Black and centre light blue bill. 1/9 Ferruginous Duck Ferruginous Duck Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in flocks but occasionally also individually. Shape resembles both diving and dabbling ducks. Characteristic head profile with long bill, long sloping forehead and rather high rear crown (not unlike Pochard). White undertail usually visible also when on the water. Broad, white wing-bars and white underwing conspicous in flight. White undertail separated from white belly by brown band. Male with shining white eyes. Female with brown eye and less bright rufous tones to plumage. Immature similar to female, but with even less rufous. Immatures told from immature Pochard by by darker back, no facial markings and white (not grey) wing-bars. ​ ​ Diet They feed by diving or dabbling, eating aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night, and when diving for food may feed upside down during feeding. ​ Longevity record 9 years (New Zealend, Z 5097) Brajmla t'Għajna Bajda Aythya nyroca Anseriformes Anatidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in March, October ​ Occasionally seen in all other months ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. male White iris, very dark back and contrasting chestnut head and neck. Ad. male White iris, very dark back and contrasting chestnut head and neck. Ad. male White iris, very dark back and contrasting chestnut head and neck. 1/17 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 38 - 42 60 - 67 450 - 700 Back to Glossary Tufted Tufted Duck Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence Info* Usually seen individually. Small, compact diving duck with short neck and rounded head. Males with diagnostic tuft, white flanks and black back. Females with rudimentary tuft, mostly dark brown body, with varying white feathering at base of bill. Females in winter showing much white at base of bill are easily mistaken for Scaup, but note hint of small tuft, smaller head, broad black nail of bill and no white cheek spots. Both sexes show long, white wing stripes in flight. Diet They feed by diving or dabbling, eating aquatic plants with some molluscs, aquatic insects and small fish. They often feed at night, and when diving for food may feed upside down during feeding. Longevity record 45 years 3 months (Shot in Denmark, 444967) Brajmla tat-Toppu Aythya fuligula Anseriformes Anatidae Very rare Usually seen in March, November - December Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/5 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 40 - 47 65 - 72 550 - 820 Back to Glossary Garganey Garganey Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in large flocks and also in smaller groups. Small dabbling duck. Males unmistakable with broad white supercilium and high contrast between the dark mottled breast and the lighter flanks (visible at considerable distance). Female mottled in light brown colours with typical supercilium and contrasting eye-stripe. White spot at base of bill. Throat much lighter than in Teal. Both sexes with dark and fairly long bill. Head gives a square impression due to the flat crown. Speculum in flight shows narrow white edges, lacking Teal's broad front edge. Agile flight, but lacks the twists of Teals. ​ ​ Diet Garganeys are omnivores. Their diet includes aquatic invertebrates (worms, insects, crustaceans, molluscs), amphibians, small fish, seeds, roots, tubers and green parts of sedges, grasses and aquatic plants. ​ Longevity record 14 years (A shot specimen in the UK, EC 74458) Sarsella Ħamra Spatula querquedula Anseriformes Anatidae Fairly common ​ Usually seen in February - March, August - September ​ Occasionally seen in April, October ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Garganeys Males have a distinctive white crescent forming from just in front of the eye and diminishes right on the nape. The breast is darker brown and pale grey scapulars. Garganeys Males have a distinctive white crescent forming from just in front of the eye and diminishes right on the nape. The breast is darker brown and pale grey scapulars. Garganeys Males have a distinctive white crescent forming from just in front of the eye and diminishes right on the nape. The breast is darker brown and pale grey scapulars. 1/17 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 37 - 41 59 - 67 300 - 400 Back to Glossary Northern Shoveler Northern Shoveler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in flocks but can be seen individually or in small groups. ​ Medium sized dabbling duck. Noticeably big and wide bill, giving the whole bird a front-heavy look. Male with dark green head, rusty brown flanks and belly. Vent and lower back black, flight feathers dark. Female brown with dark speckles, but with similar huge bill. Speculum green, lacking white rear edge. In flight the darker belly separates it from female mallards. Conspicuous forewing in flight; grey in females and light blue in males. ​ ​ Diet Northern shovelers feed by dabbling and sifting in shallow water. Seeds of sedges, bulrushes, saw grass, smartweeds, pondweeds, algae and duckweeds, as well as aquatic insects, molluscs and crustaceans, are consumed by filtering water which is taken in at the bill tip and jetted out at the base. ​ Longevity record 20 years (Russia E47327) Palettuna Anas clypeata Anseriformes Anatidae Fairly common ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in March, October - November ​ Occasionally seen in August - September, December - February ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. female All rufous-tinged body especially on flanks and belly. Orange greenish bill. Ad. male Black bill. Green head. Bright yellow iris. White breast and chestnut coloured belly. White vetn and black undertail coverts. Ad. male Black bill. Green head. Bright yellow iris. White breast and chestnut coloured belly. White vetn and black undertail coverts. Ad. female All rufous-tinged body especially on flanks and belly. Orange greenish bill. 1/40 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 44 - 52 73 - 82 490 - 740 Gadwall Gadwall Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but sometimes seen in small groups. ​ Medium sized dabbling duck. Male with grey plumage, mottled breast, black rump and vent lacking white framing. Female brown and easily overlooked and confused with female Mallards. Bill with dark center and evenly broad orange sides. Plumage more greyish than female mallard, with a more slender body and steeper forehead. Diagnostic white wingbars and contrasting white belly in all plumages. ​ Diet Aquatic vegetation such as pondweed and algae, and invertebrates, such as crustaceans and midges. ​ Longevity record 22 years (UK Shot specimen, AT83971) Kuluvert Griż Mareca strepera Anseriformes Anatidae Very scarce Back to Glossary Usually seen in November ​ Occasionally seen in October, December - April ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/16 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 46 - 56 78 - 90 850 - 1000 Wigeon Eurasian Wigeon Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but sometimes seen in small groups. ​ Recognized in all plumages by its rounded head, steep forehead, short neck and contrasting white belly. Males with brown head and light yellow forehead, pinkish breast and grey body. Adult males with big white patch on forewing. Female mostly brown with bluish bill. Tail rather long and pointed, and wings narrow. Quite pale underwings, but not completely white like American Wigeon. ​ Diet Aquatic surface vegetation like roots, leaves, seeds and stems. It also grazes for food on land. It sometimes waits for diving ducks to bring plants up to the surface of the water and then snatches away their food! ​ Longevity record 35 years (A shot bird in the UK, AT71365) Silfjun Ewropew Mareca penelope Anseriformes Anatidae Scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in October - January ​ Occasionally seen in February - March ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. male Males have an orange forehead from the bill up to the head, chestnut head and neck, pink rosy breast, white belly and vent, grey saddle and flanks and black undertail coverts. 1/12 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 42 - 50 75 - 87 600 - 850 Mallard Mallard Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but sometimes seen in small groups. ​ In all plumages distinguished by blue or purple speculum boldly framed in white. Male: metallic green head, brown breast, grey body and yellow bill. Female: brownish with dark speckles. Bill with variable, uneven orange markings on sides. Differs from Gadwall and Pintail by being noticeably more heavily built. ​ ​ Diet Majority of diet is plant material, including seeds, stems, and roots, especially sedges, grasses, pondweeds, smartweeds, many others; also acorns and other tree seeds, various kinds of waste grain. Also eat insects, crustaceans, molluscs, tadpoles, frogs, earthworms and small fish. ​ Longevity record 23 years (A shot bird in Sweden, TA 5685) Kuluvert Anas platyrhynchos Anseriformes Anatidae Scarce Back to Glossary Usually seen in November - January ​ Occasionally seen in February - March, September - October ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Mallards The male has a yellow bill, green head, white collar, dark brown neck and breast, light grey belly, flanks and upperwings and a black undertail. The female is light brown throughout all the body with darker brown streaks and a brown bill. Ad. male The male has a yellow bill, green head, white collar, dark brown neck and breast, light grey belly, flanks and upperwings and a black undertail. 1/7 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 50 - 60 79 - 87 900 - 1300 Pintail Northern Pintail Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups or large flocks but sometimes seen individually. ​ Large dabbling duck. In all plumages distinguished from other dabbling ducks by its slim neck and elegancy. Male with dark brown head, white breast and lower neck, with white wedges extending upwards on side of neck. Long, pin-like tail. Female mostly brown, wattled plumage, with longer tail than other dabbling duck females. Both sexes with bluish bill. Speculum dark green with broad white rear edge. Front edge buff in males. Edges more prominent in flight than the actual speculum. Flight pattern closer to Wigeon than Mallard. ​ ​ Diet Northern Pintails eat seeds from aquatic plants, worms, snails, crustaceans, aquatic insects, and grains such as rice, wheat, corn, and barley. They pick at seeds and grains while walking or scoop up aquatic insects and seeds with their bills. ​ Longevity record 27 years (A shot bird at the Netherlands, 5009767) Silfjun Anas acuta Anseriformes Anatidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in February - March, September - November ​ Occasionally seen in January, August, December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Top and 5th below are adult males. Others are adult females. Males have a distinctive brown head, white belly, longer pointed tail, black vent area and larger in size. Top and 5th below are adult males. Others are adult females. Males have a distinctive brown head, white belly, longer pointed tail, black vent area and larger in size. 1/23 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 51 - 62 79 - 87 900 - 1100 Back to Glossary Teal Eurasian Teal Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups or large flocks but sometimes seen individually. ​ The smallest dabbling duck. Agile, with quick and easy take-off. Male with brown and green head with yellow stripes, grey body with a white horizontal stripe, and a yellow patch by the tail. Female is mostly brown with slim bill with orange base and no cheek stripe (see Garganey). Both sexes with green speculum with broad, wedge-shaped, white front edge, and dark primaries clearly visible in flight. Easy and quick take-off from both water and land, with rapid and changing flight. ​ ​ Diet In the breeding season it eats mainly aquatic invertebrates, such as crustaceans, insects and their larvae, molluscs and worms. In winter, it shifts to a largely granivorous diet, feeding on seeds of aquatic plants and grasses, including sedges and grains. ​ Longevity record 21 years (A shot bird in France, ED 1418) Sarsella Anas crecca Anseriformes Anatidae Fairly common ​ Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January - March, August - September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. male Male with chestnut brown and green head with narrow yellow stripes, grey body with a white horizontal stripe, and faint yellow undertail coverts. Ad. male Male with chestnut brown and green head with narrow yellow stripes, grey body with a white horizontal stripe, and faint yellow undertail coverts. 1/18 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 34 - 38 53 - 59 270 - 330 Back to Glossary Marbled duck Marbled Duck Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but can be seen in pairs or small groups. ​ Adults have a pale sandy-brown colour, diffusely blotched off-white, with a dark eye-patch and shaggy head. The female averages smaller than the male, but otherwise the sexes are alike. Juveniles are similar but with more off-white blotches. In flight, the wings look pale without a marked pattern, and no speculum on the secondaries. ​ ​ Diet These birds feed mainly in shallow water by dabbling or up-ending, occasionally diving. Adults feed mostly on seeds, but also take significant quantities of invertebrates (especially aquatic insect larvae and pupae, tiny crustaceans, and highly unusual for a duck, ants ) and green plants. Their gizzard allows them to break down seeds and the lamellae in their beak allow them to filter feed on zooplanktonic organisms. Young marbled ducks feed mostly on invertebrates. Although they may take tiny seeds, they lack the large gizzard necessary to break down the larger seeds commonly consumed by adults. ​ Longevity record - Sarsella Mnaqqxa Marmaronetta anustirostris Anseriformes Anatidae Very rare ​ Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in April - August, December Click on the image to open slideshow 22-12-20 22-12-20 18-12-20 22-12-20 1/12 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 39 - 42 63 - 70 450 - 590 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Yearly Sightings | Birds of Malta

    Yearly Sightings 'x' - recorded 'number' - number of birds for vagrant/very rare sightings Last updated on 20 th May 2024

  • Cranes & Storks | Birds of Malta

    Storks & Cranes White Stork White Stork Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually or in small groups but sometimes in large flocks. Largely unmistakable. Huge, almost all white, bird with black flight feathers, long red legs and bill. Juveniles with dark bill tip and pale legs. Easily told from Black Stork in flight by all white underparts, including wing coverts. Only flight feathers black. Often soars high in flocks like raptors. ​ ​ Diet Their diet varies according to season, locality and prey availability. Common food items include insects (primarily beetles, grasshoppers, locusts and crickets), earthworms, reptiles, amphibians, and small mammals such as voles, moles and shrews. Less commonly, they also eat bird eggs and young birds, fish, molluscs, crustaceans and scorpions. ​ ​ Longevity record 39 years (Bird found dead in Switzerland, S 127) ​ Ċikonja Bajda Ciconia ciconia Ciconiiformes Ciconiidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in March - April, August - September ​ Occasionally seen in May, July, October ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/17 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 95 - 110 180 - 218 2.3 - 4.4 Back to Glossary Black Stork Black Stork Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually or in small groups. Similar to White Stork (Ciconia ciconia), but with dark brown, metallic neck, head, breast and back. Only belly and innermost, under wing coverts are white. Legs, eye-ring and bill deep red. Flies with neck extended like White Stork, but contrasting white belly is visible at great distance. Immature birds duller brown than adults, with grey-green bill and legs. ​ Diet The black stork mainly eats fish , small reptiles, amphibians , mammals, birds , invertebrates (such as snails , molluscs , earthworms) and insects like water beetles and their larvae . ​ ​ Longevity record 18 years (A shot bird in Poland, A 995853) ​ Ċikonja Sewda Ciconia nigra Ciconiiformes Ciconiidae Very scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in September - October ​ Occasionally seen in March - June, August, November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/12 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 90 - 105 173 - 205 2.0 - 4.0 Common Crane Common Crane Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually or in groups and also in large flocks. A very large, long and slender bird. Bigger than Grey Heron. Plumage grey, with contrasting black throat and flight-feathers. White sides of neck. Tertials forms fluffed, ostrich-like rear end. Red crown visible at close range. Easily told from herons in flight by the straight neck. Juveniles with rufous head, lacking the marked pattern of adults. ​ ​ Diet It largely eats plant matter, including roots, rhizomes, tubers, stems, leaves, fruits and seeds. They also commonly eat, when available, pond-weeds, heath berries, peas, potatoes, olives, acorns and pods of peanuts. Notably amongst the berries consumed, the cranberry, is possibly named after the species. ​ Longevity record 24 years 3 months (Markers in the field in Sweden, 9237782) ​ Grawwa Grus grus Gruiformes Gruidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in October - December, March - April ​ Occasionally seen in January - February ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/6 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 96 - 119 180 - 222 4.1 - 6.0 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Rails, Crakes & Coots | Birds of Malta

    Rails, Crakes & Coots Water Rail Water Rail Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually. Fairly large rail with secretive behaviour. Distinguished by long red bill, brownish upperparts, slate grey underparts, and coarsely barred flanks. White and unmarked vent often visible due to frequently used posture with flirted tail. Long legs and toes visible in flight. ​ ​ Diet Water rails are omnivorous, although they mainly feed on animals. These include leeches, worms, gastropods, small crustaceans, spiders, and a wide range of both terrestrial and aquatic insects and their larvae. Small vertebrates such as amphibians, fish, birds and mammals may be killed or eaten as carrion. ​ ​ Longevity record 8 years, 11 months (A bird found dead in the UK, DA 56290) ​ Gallozz tax-Xitwa Rallus aquaticus Gruiformes Rallidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in October - February ​ Occasionally seen in March - May, July - August ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/19 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 23 - 26 38 - 45 75 - 190 Back to Glossary Corn Crake Corncrake Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually. ​ The adult male has the crown of its head and all of its upperparts brown-black in colour, streaked with buff or grey. The wing coverts are a distinctive chestnut colour with some white bars. The face, neck and breast are blue-grey, apart from a pale brown streak from the base of the bill to behind the eye, the belly is white, and the flanks, and undertail are barred with chestnut and white. The strong bill is flesh-coloured, the iris is pale brown, and the legs and feet are pale grey. Compared to the male, the female has warmer-toned upperparts and a narrower duller eye streak. Outside the breeding season, the upperparts of both sexes become darker and the underparts less grey. The juvenile is like the adult in appearance, but has a yellow tone to its upperparts, and the grey of the underparts is replaced with buff-brown. The chicks have black down, as with all rails. ​ ​ Diet The corn crake is omnivorous, but mainly feeds on invertebrates, including earthworms, slugs and snails, spiders, beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. ​ ​ Longevity record - Gallozz Aħmar Crex crex Gruiformes Rallidae Rare Usually seen in September - October, April ​ Occasionally seen in March, May, November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 22 - 25 42 - 53 129 - 210 Back to Glossary Spotted Crake Spotted Crake Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually or in pairs. ​ Small, secretive bird, usually only heard and not seen. Buff under tail-coverts and zigzag-patterned wings are diagnostic, and separates it from all other small rails in the region. Stocky build, with speckled underparts and short yellow bill with red spot at upper base. Spotted chest and neck. ​ ​ Diet Mainly insects and aquatic animals. ​ ​ Longevity record - Gallozz tat-Tikki Porzana porzana Gruiformes Rallidae Scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in April - May, September - November ​ Occasionally seen in February - March, August Click on the image to open slideshow 1/15 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 19 - 22 37 - 42 57 - 147 Little Crake Little Crake Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually. ​ The adult male has the crown of its head and all of its upperparts brown-black in colour, streaked with buff or grey. The wing coverts are a distinctive chestnut colour with some white bars. The face, neck and breast are blue-grey, apart from a pale brown streak from the base of the bill to behind the eye, the belly is white, and the flanks, and undertail are barred with chestnut and white. The strong bill is flesh-coloured, the iris is pale brown, and the legs and feet are pale grey. Compared to the male, the female has warmer-toned upperparts and a narrower duller eye streak. Outside the breeding season, the upperparts of both sexes become darker and the underparts less grey. The juvenile is like the adult in appearance, but has a yellow tone to its upperparts, and the grey of the underparts is replaced with buff-brown. The chicks have black down, as with all rails. ​ ​ Diet The corn crake is omnivorous, but mainly feeds on invertebrates, including earthworms, slugs and snails, spiders, beetles, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. ​ ​ Longevity record - Gallozz Żgħir Zapornia parva Gruiformes Rallidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in April - May, September - October ​ Occasionally seen in February - March, June, August Click on the image to open slideshow 1/26 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 17 - 19 34 - 39 35 - 60 Back to Glossary Baillons Crake Baillon's Crake Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually. ​ Most likely to be confused with Little Crake. Most important field characters is the very short primary projection and lack of red base of bill. Some caution should be taken as missing or unorderly tertials can be confusing with regards to the projection, and immature Little Crake may sometimes also lack red base of bill. Flanks and belly more extensively barred than L. Crake. Upperparts richer brown with white spots. Sexes alike, but females often with paler throat. Brown cheeks occurs in both sexes. Legs dirty olive colour and bill greenish. Immature even more easily confused with L. Crake, but apart from the missing projection, note warmer brown upperparts and more heavily barred underparts, even on breast. Crown less evenly coloured than L. Crake, with blackish speckles. ​ Baillon's crakes are very secretive in the breeding season, and are then mostly heard rather than seen. They are then noisy birds, with a rattling call like that of the edible frog, or perhaps garganey. ​ Diet They mainly eat insects and aquatic animals. ​ Longevity record - Gallozz tal-Faxxi Zapornia pusilla Gruiformes Rallidae Rare ​ Usually seen in April ​ Occasionally seen in March, May, October - November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/18 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 16 - 18 30 - 41 30 - 55 Back to Glossary Allen's Gallinule Allen's Gallinule Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually but can be seen in small groups. ​ They are similar in size to the only slightly larger water rail . The Allen's gallinule has a short red bill, greenish back and purple upperparts. They have red legs with long toes, and a short tail which is white with a dark central bar underneath. Breeding males have a blue frontal shield , which is green in the female. Immature Allen's gallinules are sandy brown with a buff undertail. The downy chicks are black, as with all rails . ​ Allen's gallinules are very secretive in the breeding season, particularly in the dense swamps they favour, and are mostly heard rather than seen. They are then rather noisy birds, with a sharp nasal pruk call. They can be easier to see on migration or when wintering. ​ ​ Diet Omnivorous. Eats a wide variety of plant and animal matter, including seeds, fruits, and leaves of aquatic and terrestrial plants, also insects, frogs, snails, spiders, worms, fish. At times, eats the eggs and young of other birds. ​ Longevity record - Faġan tal-Baħar Afrikan Porphyrio alleni Gruiformes Rallidae Very rare ​ Usually seen in December - January ​ Occasionally seen in February - March, October Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 20 - 26 48 - 52 120 - 160 Back to Glossary Moorhen Common Moorhen Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually or in small groups. ​ Adults easily recognized by red frontal shield and red base of yellow bill. Both adults and juveniles show bold white/pale lateral stripe. Appears totally black at distance, but can be told apart from Coot by more slender build. Tail usually flirted, showing diagnostic white under tail-coverts. This also shows in juveniles, which are further distinguished by darker bill and neck than Coot. ​ Diet The Common Moorhen is omnivorous and opportunistic with a diet that consists of earthworms, crustaceans, molluscs, adult and larval insects (especially flies, mayflies, bugs, beetles, and butterflies), spiders, small fish, tadpoles, and occasionally birds eggs, algae, moss, aquatic plants, seeds, flowers, berries, and fruit. ​ Longevity record 18 years 7 months (Found dead in Denmark, 403675) Gallozz Iswed Gallinula chloropus Gruiformes Rallidae Common ​ Usually seen in September - December ​ Occasionally seen in all other months for resident birds Click on the image to open slideshow 22-12-20 22-12-20 1/18 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 27 - 31 50 - 55 190 - 490 Back to Glossary Eurasian Coot Eurasian Coot Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen individually or in pairs. ​ Largely unmistakable. All black, with white frontal shield and pale bill. Very stocky build. Lacks the white lateral stripe and white under tail-coverts of Moorhen. White trailing edge of wings visible in flight. Juveniles paler and more grey than adults, often with whitish front and neck. Under tail-coverts are dark, unlike juvenile Moorhen. ​ Diet The coot is an omnivore, and will take a variety of small live prey including the eggs of other water birds, as well as algae, vegetation, seeds and fruit. It shows considerable variation in its feeding techniques, grazing on land or in the water. ​ Longevity record 20 years 7 months (A shot bird in Denmark, 316250) Tiġieġa tal-Baħar Fulica atra Gruiformes Rallidae Scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in September - March ​ Occasionally seen in April, all other months for resident birds Click on the image to open slideshow 22-12-20 22-12-20 28-04-2017 22-12-20 1/13 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 36 - 42 70 - 80 600 - 1200 *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Warblers & Allies | Birds of Malta

    Warblers & Allies Cetti's Cetti's Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. It is heard more than seen as it is a very shy bird and loves to hide in dense vegetation. Small, warm buff warbler with skulking behaviour, but conspicuous song. Similar in size to Reed Warbler, but with short, rounded wings and rounded tail. Build fairly compact, but bill thin and slender. Supercilium thin and dull. Cheeks and underparts greyish white, lacking the purer white belly of confusion species. Pale eye-ring. Under tail-coverts usually brown with pale fringes. Often flicks tail or holds it raised. Usually hides among undergrowth, and shows itself only when moving from one shrub to another. ​ ​ Diet Insects and larvae. ​ Longevity record 7 years 6 months (UK, KV 98586) Bagħal tal-Għollieq Cettia cetti Passeriformes Cettiidae Common Usually seen in All year round for resident breeding birds. ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/8 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14 9 - 17 Back to Glossary Zitting cisticola Zitting Cisticola Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in pairs. However a number of individuals can be seen in the same area. Formerly known as the 'Fan-tailed Warbler'. Small, short winged warbler. Tail fan-shaped with black and white tips. Heavily streaked back, buff underparts and pale throat and vent. Pale area around eye. Flight diagnostic, with whirring wings and short, slightly spread, fan-like tail. Song flight even more distinct, with long undulations synchronised with voice. ​ ​ Diet It forages among grasses and gleans preys from bases of clumps of grasses. It occasionally hawks flying insects. It forages by walking and hopping on the ground. Its diet includes insects and small invertebrates such as grasshoppers, mantids, dragonflies, moths, caterpillars and insect larvae, mayflies and flies, spiders and snails. Some grass seeds are taken too. ​ Longevity record - Bagħal tal-Imrewħa / Zippu Cisticola juncidis Passeriformes Cisticolidae Common ​ Usually seen in All year round for resident breeding birds. ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 22-04-20 1/7 Length (cm): Weight (g): 10 - 11 8 - 12 Back to Glossary Savi's Warbler Savi's Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Reedbed-living, dull coloured warbler with fan-shaped tail. Under tail coverts lacking pale fringes or markings. Vague and short supercilium. Differs from other locustella by unstreaked chest, back and under tail coverts. From Reed Warbler and Marsh Warbler by very long and buff under tail coverts, smaller head and pinkish legs. ​ ​ Diet They feed on insects such as flies, beetles, moths, grubs and damselflies. ​ Longevity record 9 years 9 months (Hungary, P 45251) Bagħal Aħmar Locustella luscinioides Passeriformes Locustellidae Very scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in April, October ​ Occasionally seen in February - March, June, August - September Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13.5 - 15 14 - 17 Yellow-browed Warbler Yellow-browed Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Small and secretive warbler, usually discovered by the contact call. Broad, yellow/whitish wing-bars framed in black, and dark tertials with pale fringes gives the species a contrasting plumage. Long and strong yellow supercilium (lacking the orange base of Pallas' Leaf Warbler). No central crown-stripe. Slightly smaller than a Chiffchaff, with smaller bill and shorter tail. Rump same colour as back (as opposed to Pallas'), and overall greener and more strikingly coloured than Hume's Leaf Warbler (but beware individual variation). ​ ​ Diet They feed on insects such as flies, beetles, moths, grubs and damselflies. ​ Longevity record - Vjolin tal-Faxx Phylloscopus inornatus Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in April, October - November ​ Occasionally seen in February - March, May, September, December Click on the image to open slideshow 1/8 Length (cm): Weight (g): 9 - 10.5 5 - 8 Back to Glossary Eastern's Bonelli Warbler Eastern Bonelli's Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ The adult has a plain grey-green back, green-toned rump and wings and whitish underparts. The bill is small and pointed and the legs brown. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers. ​ The Eastern Bonelli's warbler lacks the browner tinge to the upperparts that Western Bonelli's warbler has; it sometimes has a greenish tinge instead. The song is a fast monotone trill, only slightly different from Western Bonelli's, and also some similarity to Wood Warbler . The call of the Eastern Bonelli's warbler is a hard chup, and completely different from the disyllabic hu-it of Western Bonelli's ​ The genus name Phylloscopus is from Ancient Greek phullon, "leaf", and skopos, "seeker" (from skopeo, "to watch"). The specific orientalis is Latin for "eastern". ​ ​ Diet Like most warblers, the Eastern Bonelli's is insectivorous. ​ Longevity record - Vjolin Bajdani tal-Lvant Phylloscopus orientalis Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Scarce Usually seen in March - May ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 9 - 10.5 7 - 9 Back to Glossary Western Bonelli's Warbler Western Bonelli's Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ The adult has a plain grey-green back, green-toned rump and wings and whitish underparts. The bill is small and pointed and the legs brown. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers. ​ The Western Bonelli's warbler has a browner tinge to the upperparts than Eastern Bonelli's warbler; the latter sometimes has a greenish tinge instead. The song is a fast monotone trill, only slightly different from Eastern Bonelli's, and also some similarity to Wood Warbler . The call of the Western Bonelli's warbler is a disyllabic hu-it, differing from that of Eastern which is a completely different hard chup. ​ ​ Diet Like most warblers, the Western Bonelli's is insectivorous. ​ Longevity record - Vjolin Bajdani tal-Punent Phylloscopus bonelli Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Scarce Usually seen in March - May ​ Occasionally seen in August - October Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 9 - 10.5 7 - 9 Back to Glossary Wood warbler Wood Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple numbers can be within the same area. ​ Most distinct species of the genus. Most similar to Willow Warbler, but with much more contrasting plumage. Upperparts pure green. Throat and upper chest yellow, contrasting with pure white underparts. Distinct and strong yellow supercilium and black eye-stripe. Long primary projection, with primaries reaching middle of relatively short tail. Tertials with pale green fringes. Legs pale yellowish brown. Posture often horizontal with drooping wings. ​ ​ Diet Wood Warblers' diet seems to be quite diverse. Caterpillars (17–81%) appear to be a predominant prey, but also spiders (5–21%) and various winged insects. ​ Longevity record 10 years 3 months (Germany, AL 5318) Vjolin Ħadrani / Tal-Maltemp Phylloscopus sibilatrix Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Fairly common Usually seen in April - May ​ Occasionally seen in March, June, August - November Click on the image to open slideshow DSC_0799 1/8 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11 - 12.5 8 - 12 Back to Glossary Common Chiffchaff Common Chifchaff Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple numbers can be within the same area. ​ Olive green upperparts, yellowish chest with gradual transition to off-white belly. Very similar to Willow Warbler, and most field characters are subtle and often hard to see. Distinguished by (usually) black, or dark-brown legs, only faint dark framing to ear-coverts, less marked supercilium. Shorter primary projection (1/2 to 2/3'rds the lenght of tertials), with regularly spaced tips (visible when wing folded). Wings more fan-shaped and less pointed than in Willow Warbler. Juveniles much less yellow below than in W.Warbler. Generally leaves a duller and greyer impression than W. Warbler, but plumage very variable. Frequently flicks tail, even sideways. Generally also more active when moving among the foliage. ​ ​ Diet The chiffchaff feeds on insects and invertebrates. Flies, gnats, midges and caterpillars form a large part of its diet. Seeds and berries may be taken in winter. ​ Longevity record 8 years (Hungary, T 109177) Vjolin tax-Xitwa Phylloscopus collybita Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Fairly common Usually seen in October - April ​ Occasionally seen in June - July Click on the image to open slideshow 1/5 Length (cm): Weight (g): 10 - 12 6 - 9 Back to Glossary Siberian Chiffchaf Siberian Chifchaff Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ It has been split as a different species from the Common Chiffchaff very recently and it is difficult to identify with precision. The key features for the Siberian Chiffchaff are, ​ (1) absence of olive in the crown and mantle (2) presence of a grey-brown or pale brown hue in the upperparts (3) absence of yellow away from the underwing (4) presence of warm buff in the supercilium and tobacco ear-coverts (5) supercilium standing out more than the white eye ring (6) presence of whitish buff/ lack of yellow hints at the breast-sides/flanks (7) very black-looking bill and legs (8) a thin, piping monosyllabic Dunnock-like call (9) a song markedly different from Common Chiffchaff’s ​ ​ ​ ​ Diet The chiffchaff feeds on insects and invertebrates. Flies, gnats, midges and caterpillars form a large part of its diet. Seeds and berries may be taken in winter. ​ Longevity record 8 years (Hungary, T 109177) Vjolin tas-Siberja Phylloscopus tristis Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Very rare Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in October - July Click on the image to open slideshow siberian chif siberian chif 1/1 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11 - 12 6 - 11 Back to Glossary Willow warbler Willow Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple numbers can be within the same area. ​ Olive green upperparts, yellowish chest with gradual transition to off-white belly. Very similar to Chiff-chaff, and most field characters are subtle and often hard to see. Distinguished by (usually) pale, yellow-brown legs, dark framing to ear-coverts, stronger supercilium. Long primary projection (often 3/4ths the length of tertials) with irregularly spaced tips (visible when wing folded). Wings slightly more pointed than in Chiff-chaff, and not so fan-shaped. Juveniles often with whole underparts yellow. Frequently flicks tail, but not sideways (unlike Chiff-chaff). Generally also more calm when moving among the foliage. ​ ​ Diet Willow warblers are active during the day, feeding on a variety of small insects and spiders, as well as fruits and berries in the autumn. ​ Longevity record 10 years 10 months (UK, 9J 1321) Vjolin Pastard Phylloscopus trochilus Passeriformes Phylloscopidae Fairly common Usually seen in March - May, August - October ​ Occasionally seen in June, November Click on the image to open slideshow 20-04-20 20-04-20 1/3 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11 - 12.5 7 - 12 Back to Glossary Blackcap Eurasian Blackcap Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but can be seen in pairs. ​ Large and robust warbler with plain plumage, except for the characteristic cap (black in males, rufous in females and juveniles). Upperparts greyish brown and underparts pale grey. Vent white. No white in tail, as opposed to all other black-capped Sylvias in the region. Easily confused with Garden Warbler if the cap is not seen. ​ ​ Diet Blackcaps will pick insects, caterpillars and spiders from among the shrubs. In winter they will eat fruit such as berries. ​ Longevity record 13 years 10 months (Czech Republic, T 274613) Kapinera Sylvia atricapilla Passeriformes Sylviidae Fairly common Usually seen in September - March ​ Occasionally seen in April - May, July Click on the image to open slideshow 06-04-17 1/15 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13.5 - 15 15 - 24 Back to Glossary Garden Warbler Garden Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but can be seen in small groups. ​ An almost featureless, large warbler with greyish brown upperparts and buff underparts. Lack of distinct characters is a character! Most distinct character is probably the faint, slate grey half-collar. Vent has no markings, eye is dark and bill is relatively short. Body quite plump, and facial expression gentle and mild. Usually stays hidden in foliage. Lacks nervous behaviour of other Sylvia, and does not normally flick its tail and wings. ​ ​ Diet The garden warbler feeds mainly on insects in the breeding season, although other small invertebrates such as spiders are also eaten. It picks its prey off leaves and twigs, sometimes hovering to do so. It is also found in fig and loquat trees picking on fruit. ​ Longevity record 14 years 2 months (Shot in Germany, 393985) Bekkafik Sylvia borin Passeriformes Sylviidae Fairly common Usually seen in April - June, August - October ​ Occasionally seen in November - December Click on the image to open slideshow 1/8 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14.5 15 - 27 Back to Glossary Ruppell's Warbler Rüppell's Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but can be seen in pairs. ​ Adult male easily recognized by black throat and strong white moustache stripes. Female often also with black spotted throat which, together with the moustache stripe and pale chest/belly, makes it easy to distinguish from other Sylvia. Females and immatures with pure white throat may be confused with female Sardinian Warbler, but show darker front half of head, paler and purer coloured belly and flanks (lacking brownish tinge) and white fringes to greater coverts and tertials (less obvious in worn plumage). For all plumages look for curved culmen, pointed bill and longer and squarer tail than Sardinian Warbler. Build more similar to Whitethroat than Sardinian Warbler, and also less agile than smaller Sylvia. ​ ​ Diet Like most "warblers", it is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit ​ Longevity record - Bufula tal-Pavalor Sylvia ruppeli Passeriformes Sylviidae Very rare Usually seen in March - April ​ Occasionally seen in May, September - October Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12.5 - 13.5 9 - 15 Back to Glossary Sardinian Warbler Sardinian Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually, in pairs and in smaller groups. ​ Slender warbler with long tail, short wings and pointed bill. Restless and alert with frequently raised crown feathers and dark eye framed in red. Male with black head, white throat, greyish upperparts and off-white underparts. Female less striking, with grey head grey-brown upperparts, distinct buff flanks and paler belly. Both sexes with white sides and corners to tail. Rarely sits exposed, and usually betrays itself by it's frequently used scolding call. Often just glimpsed when it dives into a bush, spreading it's tail and showing the white markings. ​ ​ Diet Like most "warblers", it is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit ​ Longevity record 8 years 4 months (Spain, 146809) Bufula Sewda Sylvia melanocephala Passeriformes Sylviidae Common Usually seen in All months of the year. Resident bird. ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/13 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14 10 - 15 Back to Glossary Eastern Subalpine Warbler Eastern Subalpine Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually, in pairs and in smaller groups. ​ Medium small Sylvia with short tail, slender body and steep forehead. Bill slim,fairly short and pointed. Male with rufous breast and conspicuous, broad, white moustache stripes. Upperparts lead grey. Female with slightly more brownish upperparts and buff white below. Immature birds has greyish brown upperparts, and are prone to confusion with Spectacled Warbler due to broad, brown fringes of tertials. The colour is however less rufous, and the dark centre ends in a rounded, not pointed tip. Pale legs in all sexes and ages, but some variation. Eye-ring colour variable, but generally red in male and very pale in female and immature (rules out other Sylvia except Tristram and Sardinian). Colour of upperparts more uniform than in confusion species in both male and female. May cock tail, but does not keep it raised like Dartford Warbler. ​ ​ Diet Like most "warblers", it is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record - Bufula Passajra Sylvia cantillan Passeriformes Sylviidae Common Usually seen in March - May, July - October ​ Occasionally seen in February, November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/9 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13 9 - 13 Back to Glossary Common Whitethroat Common Whitethroat Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Fairly large warbler with long tail, giving the whole bird an elongated look. Tertials, secondaries and coverts with rufous fringes in contrast to greyish brown back. Underparts pale with buff flanks. Outer tail feathers white. Steep forehead and white throat. Males with slate grey head. ​ ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record 9 years (Sweden, 2KK72878) Bekkafik Aħmar Sylvia communis Passeriformes Sylviidae Fairly common Back to Glossary Usually seen in March - May ​ Occasionally seen in August - November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/14 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 15 13 - 21 Lesser Whitethroat Lesser Whitethroat Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Similar to Common Whitethroat but, with greyish fringes on secondaries and shorter tail and wings. Forehead less steep than in Common Whitethroat. Upperparts evenly dark brown with no contrast between shoulders and back. Head grey with slightly darker ear-coverts. Throat and belly white. Legs dark. Tail dark with white edges. ​ ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record 7 years 11 months (UK,N 439903) Bekkafik Irmiedi Sylvia curruca Passeriformes Sylviidae Very scarce Back to Glossary Usually seen in September - October ​ ​ Occasionally seen in March - May Click on the image to open slideshow 12-09-20 12-09-20 1/1 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11.5 - 13.5 11 - 16 Spectacled Warbler Spectacled Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Small and short-winged Sylvia with large head and high crown. In all plumages; evenly warm rufous wing-panel (lacking dark centered greater coverts of Whitethroat), very short primary projection, dark tail, thin pointed bill, narrow dark centres to tertials, pure white chin and (incomplete) white eye-ring. Adult male with lead-grey head, dark/black lore and often grey lower throat. Female and immature differs from Whitethroat by short primary projection, smaller size, slender build and thinner bill. Told from immature Subalpine Warbler by warmer rufous wings with only narrow dark centres to tertials. ​ ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record - Bufula Ħamra Sylvia conspicillata Passeriformes Sylviidae Scarce Usually seen in All months. Resident bird. ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/12 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13 8 - 11 Back to Glossary Datford Warbler Dartford Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Small and slender Sylvia about the size of Lesser Whitethroat. The short wings, steep forehead and striking long tail alone is often enough for positive id. Upperparts dark slate grey, and underparts of male vinous red with finely white spotted throat. Female less brightly coloured with more brownish tones and less red underparts. Immature duller still, with brownish underparts rather than red. Yellow base of lower mandible in all ages and sex. Lacks the white moustache-stripe of Subalpine Warbler. Tail frequently held raised. Skulking behaviour. Prefers scrubs and is usually only glimpsed when moving low from bush to bush, or when singing from more exposed perch. ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record - Bufula tax-Xagħri Sylvia undata Passeriformes Sylviidae Rare Usually seen in October - March ​ Occasionally seen in April, September Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14 9 - 12 Back to Glossary Goldcrest Goldcrest Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple birds can be seen roaming the same area. ​ This not just the smallest bird visiting the Maltese islands but also the smallest bird of the Western Palaearctic . Crown stripe yellow in female, orange in male. Since bird is often viewed from below, the crown stripe is often not visible. The dark eye with the large, pale grey eye-ring is a better character. Pale wingbars and pale tips of tertials. No supercilium. Behaviour essentially tit-like. Restlessly moving among branches in treetops, with frequent hovering to get at insects. ​ Diet Mostly insects and spiders. ​ Longevity record 5 years 5 months (Found dead in Denmark, 8A 46230) Bufula tal-Qamar Regulus regulus Passeriformes Regulidae Scarce Usually seen in November - March ​ Occasionally seen in April, October Click on the image to open slideshow 1/9 Length (cm): Weight (g): 8.5 - 9.5 4.5 - 7 Back to Glossary Firecrest Firecrest Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple birds can be seen roaming the same area. ​ This not the second smallest bird visiting the Maltese islands but also one of the smallest birds in the Western Palaearctic . Distinct head markings, with black eye-stripe contrasting with broad, white supercilium. Top of head yellow (female), or orange (male), framed by black crown stripes. Characteristic orange shoulder patch, lacking in all confusion species. Immature is distinguished by present supercilium, other head markings absent. ​ ​ Diet Mostly insects and spiders. ​ Longevity record 5 years ​ Bufula tax-Xemx / Bufula tat-Toppu Aħmar Regulus ignicapilla Passeriformes Regulidae Scarce Usually seen in October - March ​ Occasionally seen in April, September Click on the image to open slideshow 1/9 Length (cm): Weight (g): 9 - 10 5 - 7 Back to Glossary Western Olivaceous Western Olivaceous Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ It is a medium-sized warbler looking more like a very pale Reed Warbler . The adults have a plain pale brown back and whitish underparts. The bill is strong and pointed and the legs grey. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are more buff on the belly. It has a characteristic downward tail flick. ​ Western Olivaceous Warbler breeds in Iberia and North Africa . It is migratory , wintering in sub-Saharan Africa . It is larger and has a browner tinge to the upperparts than the Eastern Olivaceous Warbler. It also has a larger bill. The song is a fast nasal babbling. ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record - Bekkafik Griż tal-Punent Iduna opaca Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Very rare Back to Glossary Usually seen in May ​ Occasionally seen in March - April, June - September Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 10 - 15 Eastern Olivaceous Eastern Olivaceous Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ It is a medium-sized warbler resembling a very pale Reed Warbler. The adult has a plain pale brown back and whitish underparts. The bill is strong and pointed and the legs grey. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are more buff on the belly. It has a characteristic downward tail flick. ​ Western Olivaceous Warbler differs from this species in being larger and having a browner tinge to the upperparts; it also has a larger bill. Eastern Olivaceous Warbler sometimes has a greenish tinge to its upperparts. The song is a fast nasal babbling. ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record - Bekkafik Griż Iduna pallida Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Rare Usually seen in May ​ Occasionally seen in April, July, September - October Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 10 - 15 Back to Glossary Icterine Warbler Icterine Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but occasionally multiple numbers are recorded in the same area. ​ Green upperparts and yellow underparts. Sides of bill yellowish, legs slate grey. Short yellow supercilium which connects to yellow lore. Long wings and relatively short tail. The flat crown and long bill gives it a different head profile from Sylvia warblers. Often raises crown feathers. Very similar to Melodious Warbler, but differs from this in pale wing-panel and longer wings. Folded wings reaches tip of under tail coverts, and primary projection is as long as tertials. Juveniles paler than adults, with whitish supercilium. The pale wing-panel extends to fringes of greater coverts in addition to secondaries. Alert and agile bird. Usually hidden in foliage, also when singing ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take soft fruit. ​ Longevity record 10 years 10 months (Shot in Germany, 9G 77549) Bekkafik Isfar Hippolais icterina Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Fairly common Usually seen in April - June ​ Occasionally seen in August - November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/2 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 11 - 15 Back to Glossary Great Reed Warbler Great Reed Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Large and bulky warbler with long tail, heavy, thrush-like bill and relatively strong facial markings. Supercilium broad and strong and continues behind eye. Lores dark. Primary projection same length as tertials. Flanks warm beige. Crest often raised. Flight heavy and jerky, and birds are also much more detectable by moving reeds when foraging about in vegetation than congeners. ​ Diet It is insectivorous, but will also take invertebrates, like small tadpoles, and also soft fruit. ​ Longevity record 10 years 1 month (Hungary, A 94706) Bagħal Prim / Bagħal tal-Qasab Kbir Acrocephalus arundinaceus Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Scarce Usually seen in April - May, September - October ​ Occasionally seen in March, June, August, November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/3 Length (cm): Weight (g): 16 - 20 29 - 36 Back to Glossary Marsh Warbler Marsh Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Plain and characterless plumage, but conspicuous song. Larger than Sedge Warbler, with larger wings, broader tail and tail-base. Very similar to Reed Warbler, and very hard to distinguish by plumage alone. The Marsh Warbler can be distinguished from the Reed Warbler only by biometric examination. Rump of Marsh warbler shows less contrast to back, and flanks have a yellowish tinge. Bill slightly shorter and less pointed. Differs from Blyth's Reed Warbler by longer primary projection, yellowish lower mandible and paler legs. Juveniles especially hard to identify because of even fainter plumage field marks. Less common in reed beds than Reed Warblers, and more attached to bushes with lush undergrowth. ​ Diet The Marsh Warbler is mostly insectivorous, also taking some spiders and small numbers of snails. ​ Longevity record 8 years 11 months (Sweden, AX 18398) Bagħal tal-Għadajjar Acrocephalus palustris Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Very rare Usually seen in August - October ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 15 11 - 15 Back to Glossary Eurasian Reed Warbler Eurasian Reed Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Plain and characterless warbler with secretive behaviour. Larger than Sedge Warbler, with larger wings, broader tail and tail-base. Very similar to Marsh Warbler, and very hard to distinguish by plumage alone. Rump of Reed warbler warm rufous brown, warm buff flanks (yellowish tinge in Marsh Warbler), and slightly longer and more pointed bill. Differs from Blyth's Reed Warbler by longer primary projection, yellowish lower mandible and paler legs. Juveniles especially hard to identify, because of even fainter plumage field marks. Attached to reed beds. ​ Diet The Eurasian Reed W arbler is mostly insectivorous, also taking some spiders and small numbers of snails. ​ Longevity record 16 years 11 months (Belgium, 5544265) Bagħal tal-Qasab Acrocephalus scirpaceus Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Fairly common Usually seen in August - October ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow 1/9 Length (cm): Weight (g): 16 - 20 10 - 15 Back to Glossary Sedge Warbler Sedge Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Small and compact, brown warbler with strong supercilium and streaked back. Crown dark with faint streaking, contrasting with broad supercilium. Rump unstreaked and warmer brown than back and tail. Juveniles with faintly streaked chest. Long primary projection. Body shorter and more compact than Reed Warbler. Easiest. Often sings from exposed branch or reed, is inquisitive and not very shy. ​ Diet They are mainly insectivorous, feeding on aphids, dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, lacewings, moths, beetles and flies. ​ Longevity record 11 years 10 months (Denmark) Bagħal tas-Simar Acrocephalus schoenobaenus Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Fairly common Usually seen in April - May, September - October ​ Occasionally seen in March, June, August, November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/3 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11.5 - 13 11 - 15 Back to Glossary Moustached Warbler Moustached Warbler Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but more individuals can be seen in the same area. ​ Small and restless species easily confused with Sedge Warbler, but showing both plumage and structural differences. Plumage differs from Sedge Warbler in; broad, white supercilium ending without narrowing, dark crown (usually appears black), pure white throat, grey ear-coverts, dark legs and warm-rufous flanks, rump and neck. Facial markings recalling firecrest. Very short primary projection and longer, more evenly rounded tail recalling Wren when raised. Bill thinner than Sedge Warbler. Skulky behaviour, forages low in vegetation, on ground or near water surface. Some variation in both size and plumage between western and eastern subspecies. Diet They are mainly insectivorous, feeding on aphids, dragonflies and damselflies, grasshoppers, lacewings, moths, beetles and flies. ​ Longevity record 11 years 3 months (Hungary, Y 13562) Bagħal Qastni Acrocephalus melanopogon Passeriformes Acrocephalidae Scarce Usually seen in November - December ​ Occasionally seen in October, January - March Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 10 - 14 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Thrushes | Birds of Malta

    Thrushes White's Thrush White's Thrush Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* A very rare bird that is seen individually. Although the sightings are rare it has been recorded from one up to four records in 2018, 2019 and 2020. This thrush is similar to a Mistle Thrush but it has a black scaling on a paler white or yellowish background. The most striking identification feature in flight is the black band on the white underwings. The male has a song which is a loud, far-carrying mechanical whistle, with 5–10 second pauses between each one second long phrase twee...tuuu....tuuu....tuuu. ​ It breeds in the Himalayas and Siberia but is recorded in Europe each year. ​ Diet This thrush mainly feeds on invertebrates, fruit and berries. Animal prey include earthworms, insects and other arthropods, slugs and snails. ​ Longevity record - Malvizzun Dehbi Zoothera aurea Passeriformes Turdidae Vagrant ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in October - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 27 - 31 100 - 140 Ring Ouzel Ring Ouzel Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups but can be seen singly. Differs from Barn Swallow in all plumages by pale throat and black under tail coverts, which are visible at greater distance than the red rump. Rufous cheeks and collar. Underparts finely streaked, giving the bird a slightly "dirty" look from a distance, with less contrast to the upperparts than in Barn Swallow. Immature birds with short streamers and buff cheeks and rump. Build more compact than Barn Swallow, with shorter bill, rounded wings and slightly shorter streamers. Flight slower and with more frequent gliding. ​ ​ Diet The ring ouzel is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, earthworms, small rodents, reptiles and berries. ​ Longevity record 9 years 1 month (Found dead in Spain, 3015231) Malvizz tas-Sidra Bajda / Malvizzun tal-Ħannieqa Turdus torquatus Passeriformes Turdidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January, March - April, September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 07-11-18 07-11-18 1/1 Length (cm): Weight (g): 24 - 27 85 - 120 Back to Glossary Blackbird Common Blackbird Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen singly. Male shiny black with bright yellow bill and yellow eye-ring. Female dark brown above. Throat and chest in slightly paler tones with diffuse dark spots. Juveniles similar to females, but with fine buff streaking all over. More long-tailed than Redwing and Song Thrush. Flight action with alternating bursts of wing-beats and with little undulation (see Fieldfare). ​ Diet The Common Blackbird eats insects, earthworms, snails, spiders and a range of seeds and fruit. It mainly forages on the ground, probing and scratching at leaf litter, lawns and soil. ​ Longevity record 21 years 10 month (Germany, 7561680) Malvizz Iswed / Malvizzun Iswed Turdus merula Passeriformes Turdidae Fairly common ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January - May, July, September Click on the image to open slideshow 08-12-17 08-12-17 1/5 Length (cm): Weight (g): 23 - 29 80 - 135 Eyebrowed Thrush Eyebrowed Thrush Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* A very rare bird that is seen individually. Upperparts are olive-brown, with contrasting gray on the head and upper breast. The face is prominently marked with a white supercilium, white eye crescents, and a bold black eye line. The bill is yellow at the base with a dark culmen and tip. The sides and flanks are pale orange, and the belly and undertail coverts are white. The legs are pale yellowish to pinkish. Female: Similar to male, but lighter and browner overall, with more extensive white on the malar and throat areas. ​ It breeds in the Siberia, Mongolia and Japan. ​ Diet Insects, snails and berries. ​ Longevity record 5 years Malvizz tan-Nord Turdus obscurus Passeriformes Turdidae Vagrant ​ Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in October - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 20 - 23 61 - 88 Back to Glossary Fieldfare Fieldfare Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen singly or in pairs but can be seen occasionally in small groups. A large and long-tailed thrush. Slate grey lower back, rump and head. Brown upper back and yellow buff breast with dark spots. The all dark tail contrasts with the grey rump. Tail colour combined with white underwing distinguishes it from all other thrushes when flying. Flight undulated in long waves, with alternating glides and bursts of wing-beats. ​ ​ Diet Its diet consists of snails and slugs, earthworms, spiders and insects such as beetles and their larvae, flies and grasshoppers. Later in the winter windfall apples are eaten, swedes attacked in the field and grain and seeds eaten. When these are exhausted, or in particularly harsh weather, the birds may move to marshes or even the foreshore where molluscs are to be found. ​ Longevity record 18 years 1 month (Shot in Finland, A-44583) Malvizzun tal-Qtajja' Turdus pilaris Passeriformes Turdidae Scarce Usually seen in November - February ​ Occasionally seen in October, March Click on the image to open slideshow 1/6 Length (cm): Weight (g): 22 - 27 82 - 138 Back to Glossary Song Thrush Song Thrush Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen singly or in small groups. A medium sized thrush with evenly brown to olive-brown upperparts. Underparts boldly covered with arrow-shaped spots. Chest with buff tones. Faint face patterns and buff underwing coverts distinguishes it from all other thrushes in the region. Lacks the white cheek-spot of Mistle Thrush, and the colour of the back of the head is not paler than the back. Sexes alike. Juveniles with buff-spotted upperparts. Quite short-tailed and compact, with rounded wings. Jerky, and not very undulated, flight pattern. ​ ​ Diet The Song Thrush's diet is largely earthworms and snails, with the latter broken open by the bird smashing the shell against a hard object such a stone. Other food incudes insects and spiders, plus fruit and berries in the colder months. ​ Longevity record 17 years 8 months (Found dead in the UK, CP 71448) Malvizz Turdus philomelos Passeriformes Turdidae Fairly common Usually seen in March, October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January, April, September Click on the image to open slideshow 1/13 Length (cm): Weight (g): 20 - 22 53 - 79 Back to Glossary Redwing Redwing Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen singly or in small groups. Small thrush with rufous flanks, strong white supercilium and whitish moustache stripe. Upperparts evenly brown, underparts white with dark spots on chest and sides. Underwing coverts rufous. Fairly compact build, with slightly more pointed wings and shorter tail than Song Thrush. Juveniles less brightly coloured, with buff spots on upperparts. Behaviour less secretive than Song Thrush. ​ ​ Diet The diet is varied and includes snails, earthworms, slugs and insects, then progressively more berries and fallen fruit in the winter months. Hawthorn, holly and rowan berries are the native species which are eaten, but in gardens, parks and shopping centre car parks etc. ​ Longevity record 17 years 4 months (Shot in Finland, P-337619) Żerżur / Malvizz Aħmar Turdus iliacus Passeriformes Turdidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in December - February ​ Occasionally seen in March, October - November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/4 Length (cm): Weight (g): 19 - 23 49 - 79 Back to Glossary Mistle thrush Mistle Thrush Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen singly or in pairs. A large, and often shy, thrush. Most similar to Song Thrush. Other than size, it is distinguished by a long tail with white corners, white under wing-coverts and a pale, vertical cheek patch. Underparts are boldly covered in round (not arrow-shaped) spots that forms a dark patch on each side of upper chest. Rump slightly paler than the olive back. Noticeably bulkier than Fieldfare, with a heavier bill. Posture upright when foraging on ground, and head seems paler than the back. Flight non-undulating, but with alternating bursts of wing-beats and glides with folded wings. Often flies high. ​ Diet Mistle thrushes feed mainly on invertebrates, fruit and berries. Animal prey include earthworms, insects and other arthropods, slugs and snails. Snails are sometimes smashed on a stone "anvil", a technique also used by the song thrush. ​ Longevity record 21 years 3 months (Shot in Switxerland, 768038) Malvizzun Prim Turdus viscivorus Passeriformes Turdidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January - April Click on the image to open slideshow 1/7 Length (cm): Weight (g): 26 - 29 100 - 126 Back to Glossary Rock Thrush Rufous-tailed Rock Thrush Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen singly or in small groups. Up to five individuals had been seen. Compact built bird attached to rocky habitat. Differs in all plumages from Blue Rock-thrush, by short, rufous tail and shorter bill. Primary projection very long, and wing-tips almost reaches end of tail in perching birds. Male in breeding plumage unmistakable with blue-grey head, orange-buff underparts and white patch on back (variable). Male resembles female and immature birds when not in breeding plumage, but can sometimes be sexed by partly grey head and hints of white on back. General characteristics of non-breeding plumage are greyish brown and speckled upperparts, and orange-buff, vermiculated underparts. Then told from female Blue Rock-thrush by aforementioned different build, bill and tail, and also by paler throat-sides/breast and warmer rufous flanks. Posture usually upright with giss resembling more a wheatear than a thrush. ​ Diet It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, berries and small reptiles. ​ Longevity record - Ġanbublu Monticola saxatilis Passeriformes Muscicapidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in March - May ​ Occasionally seen in August - October Click on the image to open slideshow 31-03-20 12-04-17 31-03-20 1/18 Length (cm): Weight (g): 17 - 20 43 - 63 Back to Glossary Blue rock thrush Blue Rock Thrush Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* The Blue Rock Thrush is the national bird of Malta and the emblem of 'Birds of Malta'. It is usually seen singly or in small groups. A slim, medium large thrush attached to rocky terrain, mountains or concrete buildings. Differs from Common Rock Thrush, in all plumages by long bill, and long, dark tail (not rufous). Bill and tail gives the bird an elongated appearance and profile. The tail reaches far behind the primaries when perched. Male unmistakable if seen well, but note that the bluish tones appears dark grey in unfavorable light. First winter males are barred underneath but gradually turns bluer and more evenly coloured. Immatures and females look alike with grey-brown upperparts and barred underparts, and are generally darker in throat and breast than the Common Rock Thrush. ​ Diet It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects, berries, seed and small reptiles. ​ Longevity record - Merill Monticola solitarius Passeriformes Muscicapidae Common ​ Usually seen in All year round. Residential bird. ​ ​ Occasionally seen in - Click on the image to open slideshow CF7607 1/18 Length (cm): Weight (g): 21 - 23 57 - 64 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Bird ID | BirdsofMalta | Malta

    Bird Identification Intro Click for Wiki Glossary of Bird Terms Although birds vary in size, flight and colours, the arrangement of feathers in birds is very similar across all species. As such, it is very important for a birder, bird enthusiast and ornithologist to be familiar with the bird's body parts and its group feathers, i.e. the bird topology. Such terminologies are used world-wide in several books, online sites and magazines, and are required to identify a bird by its appearance. ​ The bird’s topography and the terms used will not only help you in understanding a bird's description, but will also help you describe any particular bird sighting to others. Head Orbital Ring: Unfeathered ring or skin around the eye. Some birds have brightly color Orbital Rings while others do not have one at all. Orbital ring can change color over time. ​ Iris: Refers to the coloured part of the eye surrounding the pupil, which is always black. In some birds the iris colour change with age. Culmen: Refer to the ridge along the top of the upper mandible. Nostril: Equivalent to a channel of the nose of a bird. ​ Nail: Tip of upper mandible. In ducks the size and coloration of the nail can be an important identification feature. Tomia : is the cutting edge of bill. Gonydeal Angle: Shallow angle near the tip of the lower mandible. The gonys spot is found in some adult breeding birds and is the contrastingly coloured spot that the chick pecks at when it is soliciting food. Gape: Fleshy edges at corners or the base of the beak. In most birds the gape are obvious in young individuals. ​ Nape: Refers to the area behind the neck. ​ Supraorbital Ridge: Is the boney protuberance above the eye socket; this ridge helps shade and protect the eye and gives raptors their fierce look. Cere: Is the bare area surrounding the nostrils and can be different colours according to species, age and sex of the bird. Chin: Is a very small area at the base of the lower mandible and can often be a good clue for the identification of certain birds. ​ Facial disc/Facial ruff: Facial disc is the concave collection of feathers surrounding the eyes on the face of some birds; particularly owls. The concavity of the facial disc forms a circular paraboloid that collects sound waves and directs those waves towards the ears. Harriers have less prominent facial discs and are often called Facial ruffs and refer to feathers around the neck that are raised in response to noise. Essentially enlarging the facial disc and improving hearing. Crown: Refers to the top area of the head. ​ Forehead: Area between the bill and the crown. Post Ocular Spot: Feathered or skin spot found behind the eye. Body Median Crown stripe: Area that runs along the middle of the crown generally beginning at the base of the upper mandible. Lateral crown stripes, when present, run along the median crown stripe. Eyeline: Stripe that extends from behind the eye towards the nape. Eye-ring or Orbital feathers: Refers to the very small feathers circling the eye. Mantle: Area below the nape. A distinctive group of feathers that cover the upper back and are flanked by the scapular feathers. Scapulars: Feathers that cover the base of the wing. Scapulars flank the mantle and generally cover the bend of the wing. Breast: Refers to the area surrounded by the bottom of the throat, the sides or bend of wing area, and the top of the belly. Sides: Generally the area around the bend of the wing. Flanks: Refers to the side areas below the folded wing. Rump: Refers to the area below the mantle down to the uppertail coverts. The mantle, rump, and uppertail coverts are loosely referred as back. The rump is generally under the folded wings of a perched bird. Vent: Refers to the area between belly and undertail coverts. Undertail Coverts: Feathers that overlap the bottom base of the tail. Uppertail Coverts: Feathers that cover the upper base of the tail. ​ Supercilium: Refers to the feathers that generally run from the base of the bill, above the eye, and back to varying lengths. These feathers are also known as the eyebrow. Auriculars or Ear-patch: Refers to the feathers that cover the ear area. This area is also known as cheeks. Throat: Refers to the area below the lower mandible. Malar: Refers to the area along the sides of lower mandible, between the throat and the Auricular Feathers. The malar area is also referred to as Mustachial Streak. Belly: The area surrounded by the breast, the flanks, and the Vent. Tibial Feathering: Feathers that cover tibia; above the tarsus. Undertail Coverts: Feathers that overlap the bottom base of the tail. Uppertail Coverts: Feathers that cover the upper base of the tail. ​ Rump: Refers to the area below the mantle down to the uppertail coverts. The mantle, rump, and uppertail coverts are loosely referred as back. The rump is generally under the folded wings of a perched bird. Lesser Coverts: Feathers near the leading edge of a wing that overlap the bases of the Median Coverts. These feathers are rarely visible in passerines, and are usually concealed by Scapular and Side Feathers when the wing is folded. Median Coverts: Feathers that overlap the bases of the Greater Coverts. The coloured tips of the Median Coverts make the upper wing-bars in some birds. Greater Coverts: Overlap the bases of the Secondaries. Coloured tips of the Greater Coverts often conform the lower wing bars in some birds. Flight feathers or Remiges: Refers to the wing feathers (Primaries, Secondaries, and tertials). Primaries: Long flight feathers growing from the hand of a wing. Primaries form the bottom of a folded wing. Most birds have ten primaries, but some sub-oscine passerines have nine. ​ Secondaries: Long flight feathers growing from the forearm of wing. The outer Secondaries abut the Primaries. In some ducks, the Secondaries can be brightly coloured and conform the speculum. Tail or Rectrices: Refers to the feathers that conform the tail. Tail feathers occur in even numbers with the central pair on top in the folded tail, and the outer pair positioned at the bottom of the pile. Tertials: Refers to the feathers closest to the body and loosely cover the space between the body and the wing. ​ Alula: Three feathers on the thumb. Primary Coverts: Cover the base of the Primaries. Lesser Underwing Coverts: Feathers near the leading edge of a wing that overlap the bases of the Median Underwing Coverts. ​ Median underwing coverts: Cover the base of the Greater underwing coverts. ​ Greater Underwing Coverts: Overlap the bases of the Secondaries. ​ Axilars: Feathers located in the bird’s arm pit. These feathers are basically the underwing version of the tertial feathers. ​ Primary Underwing Coverts: Cover the base of the Primaries. Tail Tail Feathers The tail feathers are called rectrices (singular: rectrix), and occur in an even number on birds. The central pair of rectrices are on top (towards the back of the bird) in the folded tail, while the outer pair will be positioned at the bottom of the pile. There are three basic tail shapes, square, forked, and rounded. Other tail shapes derive from these three types. ​ Square Tail: Tail feathers of the same length. Fork tailed: Outer tail feathers are longer than the middle pair. Feathers increase in length from the central pair to the outer pair. Rounded Tail: Outer tail feathers are shorter than the middle pair. Feathers increase in length from the outer pair to the middle pair. Source: Begazo, A. (Ed.) (2020). Peru Aves. CORBIDI, Lima, Peru. Available at http://www.peruaves.org/ (Accessed: 2020)

  • Sources | Birds of Malta

    ''Nature Guide Series BIRDS of the Maltese Islands'' by Natalino Fenech ISBN: 978-99957-67-36-5 ''A Complete Guide to the Birds of Malta'' by Natalino Fenech ISBN: 978-99932-7-310-3

  • Plovers | Birds of Malta

    Plovers, Lapwings & Dottorel Grey Plover Grey Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. Summer plumage unmistakable, with black underparts framed in white, with white and grey-speckled upperparts. Diagnostic in all plumages are the black armpits, which are clearly visible in flying birds. Also shows white wing-bars and very pale tail, with some barring. Winter-plumaged and juvenile birds speckled in grey with white underparts. Can be mistaken for Golden Plover. Especially the juveniles, which may have faint golden tone to plumage. Note instead heavier bill with swollen tip and bulkier body. ​ ​ Diet Small crustaceans, marine worms and molluscs, occasionally insects and earthworms, obtained by probing and gleaning. During the breeding season the diet is predominantly adult and larval insects. They feed during the day, and also at night. ​ ​ Longevity record 25 years 7 months (Found dead in the UK, DS 08723) ​ Pluviera Griża Pluvialis squatarola Charadriiformes Charadriidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in March - May, August - November ​ Occasionally seen in December - January ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/23 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 26 - 29 56 - 63 135 - 227 Back to Glossary Eurasian Golde plover Eurasian Golden Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in groups, flocks or sometimes individually. Unmistakable in breeding plumage with golden, speckled upperparts and white-bordered black throat and belly. Male generally blacker than female, but due to regional differences, some females may be darker than males from other areas. Juveniles and birds in winter plumage, lacks the black underparts, and could be mistaken for Grey Plover. Differs from that species in more golden coloured back, less heavy bill and neck and by being slightly smaller. In flight easily told apart from Grey Plover and Pacific Golden Plover by white axillaries. ​ ​ Diet Golden plover mainly eat insects and their larvae, worms and spiders, and a small amount of grass seeds and berries. ​ Longevity record 13 years 9 months (Found dead in Iceland, 624564) ​ Pluviera Pluvialis apricaria Charadriiformes Charadriidae Fairly common Usually seen in October - March ​ Occasionally seen in April - May, August - September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adults Streaked throat and breast, white belly in winter adults. Mostly adults Black buffs and 'golden' trims on back and upperwings. Streaked throat and breast, white belly in winter adults. Juveniles will have a streaked dirty belly. Juveniles Adult winter Black buffs and 'golden' trims on back and upperwings. Streaked throat and breast, white belly in winter adults. Adults Streaked throat and breast, white belly in winter adults. 1/12 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 25 - 28 53 - 59 160 - 220 Back to Glossary Pacific Golden Plover Pacific Golden Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. The Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria) is very similar in colour as the Eurasian Golden Plover, but is smaller, slimmer and relatively longer-legged than, and has grey rather than white axillary feathers (only properly visible in flight). ​ ​ Diet On breeding grounds, feeds mostly on insects, including beetles, flies, and others, also some berries. In migration in open fields, eats wide variety of insects, including grasshoppers, caterpillars. On shores, also feeds on small crustaceans and mollusks. During migration seasons, may eat many berries. ​ Longevity record 21 years 3 months (Euring) ​ Pluviera Żgħira Pluvialis fulva Charadriiformes Charadriidae Vagrant ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in September - January ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 21 - 25 53 - 59 100 - 230 Dotterel Eurasian Dotterel Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in small groups. Clearly smaller than Golden plover. Easily identified by broad white supercilium, white breast band and rusty brown underparts. Female more richly coloured than male. Winter plumage and juveniles pale, with scaled back and light underparts. Short, broad, rounded tail and slightly rounded wings visible in flight. Reversed sexual roles. ​ ​ Diet Insects and other small invertebrates such as snails and worms and shellfish. These are obtained by a run-and-pause technique, rather than the steady probing used by other waders. ​ Longevity record 11 years 9 months (Found dead in the UK, XR 45242) ​ Birwina Charadrius morinellus Charadriiformes Charadriidae Scarce Usually seen in August - November ​ Occasionally seen in December - January, March - April ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adult summer The dark crown, broader white contrasting supercilium and rufous edges on scapulars indicate an adult in summer plumage. Adult summer Grey unstreaked throat, broad white stripe on chest, orange rufous breast and flanks, black belly and white rump in summer adults. Adult summer Grey unstreaked throat, broad white stripe on chest, orange rufous breast and flanks, black belly and white rump in summer adults. Adult summer The dark crown, broader white contrasting supercilium and rufous edges on scapulars indicate an adult in summer plumage. 1/10 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 20 - 24 57 - 64 110 - 155 Back to Glossary Common Ringed Plover Common Ringed Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in small groups. Marked black breast-band and mask. Olive-brown upperparts and white underparts. Easily confused with Little Ringed Plover (especially juveniles). Diagnostic characters in adults are; striking white wing-bars (only faint in Little Ringed Plover), orange base of bill and legs, and no yellow eye-ring. Juveniles also show characteristic wing-bars, white supercilium extends behind the eye, lower part of "mask" is rounded and bill is stouter. Tertials do not cover tips of primaries. ​ ​ Diet Small invertebrates, insects, spiders, slugs and snails. ​ Longevity record 20 years 10 months (Ring read in the field in the UK, BV 85945) ​ Monakella Prima Charadrius hiaticula Charadriiformes Charadriidae Fairly common ​ Usually seen in April - May, August - September ​ Occasionally seen in March, June - July, October - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 28-08-20 1/10 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 17 - 20 35 - 41 49 - 64 Back to Glossary Little Ringed Plover Little Ringed Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in small groups. Differs from Ringed Plover by bright yellow eyering (adults),only faint wing-bars, long tertials (covering the primaries) and slimmer more elongated body shape. Apart from the diagnostic eyering, adults show white band across crown, brown-grey legs (not orange) and dark bill. Juveniles also show only faint wing-bars, supercilium is faint, especially behind the eye, lower part of "mask" is pointed and bill is slimmer. ​ ​ Diet Insects, crustaceans and worms. ​ Longevity record 13 years (Finland, KT-453) ​ Monakella Charadrius dubius Charadriiformes Charadriidae Fairly common ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in March - May, September - October ​ Occasionally seen in January, all other months for resident birds ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 19-03-20 17-03-18 1/9 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 15 - 18 32 - 35 33 - 44 Lapwing Northern Lapwing Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually, in small groups but also in flocks. Unmistakable. Dark green (appears black at a distance) above and white below. Wings also dark above and white below, with diagnostic rounded and broad tips. Squarish head profile with striking crest. Winter and juvenile plumage with scaled back, and less contrasting breast band. ​ ​ Diet Northern lapwing feeds on invertebrates such as earth worms and insects. It also consumes beetles (larvae and adults), ants, flies, moths, crickets, and also spiders and snails. They usually feed in cultivated areas and both during day and night ​ Longevity record 24 years 6 months (Denmark) ​ Venewwa Vanellus vanellus Charadriiformes Charadriidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in November - February ​ Occasionally seen in March, October ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/12 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 28 - 31 67 - 72 170 - 230 Back to Glossary Caspian Plover Caspian Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ This plover is slightly larger than ringed plover. Summer males have grey-brown backs and a white face and belly. The breast is chestnut, bordered black below. Other plumages have a grey-brown breast band, although the summer female may show a hint of chestnut. The call is a sharp chip. ​ ​ Diet It feeds in a similar way to other plovers picking beetles, termites, ants, grasshoppers, small snails and other small prey mainly from the ground. It sometimes eats the seeds of grasses. ​ Longevity record - ​ Birwina tal-Asja Charadrius asiaticus Charadriiformes Charadriidae Vagrant ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in March - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 19 - 21 55 - 61 60 - 91 Kentish Plover Kentish Plover Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in pairs. ​ Long-legged and compact plover with short rear-end and thin, black bill. Breast-band (or rather breast patches) usually incomplete and broken, and narrow. Leaves an overall pale impression compared to congeners. The white forehead in adults reaches all the way to the bill. Breeding male with rufous neck patch, distinct black facial markings and black breast-band. Female more diffusely coloured in brown, with slightly darker breast-band. Immature even duller. Tal shorter than Ringed Plover with substantially more white on edges. Legs darker than congeners (blackish when breeding), but may be greenish in immature birds. Can be identified by profile alone with some experience, by combination of long legs, short and compact body and flat forehead. Lifts legs well clear of ground when running, giving it's rapid gait a bicycling feel. ​ ​ Diet Their main source of food consists of miniature aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates such as insects and their larvae (e.g. beetles, grasshoppers or flies), molluscs, crustaceans, spiders and marine worms. They are obligate visual foragers and often feed at the shoreline of lakes, lagoons or ponds in invertebrate-rich moist-soil areas. ​ Longevity record 19 years (Read in the field in Sweden, 3247244) ​ Monakella Saqajha Suwed Charadrius alexandrinus Charadriiformes Charadriidae Very scarce ​ Usually seen in March - May ​ Occasionally seen in July - December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/10 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 15 - 18 40 - 45 32 - 56 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Flamingoes to Stilts | Birds of Malta

    Flamingoes, Spoonbills, Ibises, Grebes, O'Catchers, Avocets & Stilts Flamingo Greater Flamingo Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in large flocks, in small groups and also individually. ​ Unmistakable, a great sized bird, with pink plumage and a pink bill with black tip and yellow eyes in adults. They also have long, lean, curved necks and black-tipped bills with a distinctive downward bend. Their bent bills allow them to feed on small organisms—plankton, tiny fish, fly larvae, and the like. ​ Immature birds first brown with white belly. Later dirty white with coverts tipped black. ​ ​ Diet Flamingos eat larva, small insects, blue-green and red algae, molluscs, crustaceans and small fish, according to Sea World. Their tendency to eat both vegetation and meat makes them omnivores. ​ Longevity record 27 years (Ring read in the field in France, FA 5233) Fjamingu Phoenicopterus roseus Phoenicopteriformes Phoenicopteridae Scarce ​ Usually seen in August - November ​ Occasionally seen in all the other months ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Ad. Pink body and bill with black tip. Rosy-red upperwings with black primaries and secondaries. Yellow iris. Juvenile to immature Note all brown plumage in juveniles. Bill is grey with less contrasting tip. Dark iris. 1/31 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 125 - 145 140 - 170 1.8 - 3.6 Back to Glossary Great white pelican Great White Pelican Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence Info* The Great White pelican that lives in the shallow swamps in Africa is one of the largest flying birds in the world. It has the abilities of multiple birds, such as long flights and swimming. Its unique characteristic is the “gular pouch” inside its beak. Its legs are short and strong with fully webbed toes that allow it to propel itself in water and to take off from the surface of the water. They are powerful fliers and often travel in flocks in a V-formation to reduce drag for the group. Diet Great White pelicans are carnivores (piscivores), they eat fish and also small invertebrates. Longevity record 51 years Pellikan Pelecanus onocrotalus Pelecaniformes Pelicanidae Vagrant Usually seen in - Occasionally seen in September - November Click on the image to open slideshow 1/2 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 140 - 175 245 - 295 6.9 - 11.5 Back to Glossary Eurasian Spoonbill Eurasian Spoonbill Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in small groups. Occasionally in flocks. ​ Largely unmistakable, but might be mistaken for an egret when at a distance. Differs from these in bill-shape and in neck held straight (not retracted) in flight. Plumage white with yellowish half collar and neck tuft in breeding season. Bill and legs dark. Immature birds with black tips to primaries and pinkish bill. Characteristic feeding behavior with sweeping bill-motions from side to side. Wing-beats slower than Glossy Ibis, and flocks generally fly in single file. ​ ​ Diet Water bugs adults and larvae, dragonflies, caddisflies, locusts, flies and other insect species. It also takes crustaceans, molluscs, worms, leeches, frogs, tadpoles and small fish, and occasionally some algae. ​ Longevity record 25-30 years Paletta Platalea leucorodia Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae Very scarce Usually seen in February - May, September - October ​ Occasionally seen in June - August, November - January ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/18 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 80 - 93 120 - 135 1.2 - 1.7 Back to Glossary Bald Ibis Northern Bald Ibis Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Seen singly on the 15th October 2017. From the ring details it was known that it was part of a reintroduction program in Fagnana, Udine in the North of Italy. ​ A largely unmistakable, even at a distance when bald head is not apparent. Note short legs and short, thick neck without bulbous head. In flight note that the legs are not protruding behind tail, and that the wings usually show 3-4 "fingers". Frequent soaring flight, as opposed to Glossy Ibis. This ibis is listed as 'Endangered' under IUCN's list and several programs are being implemented for its reintroduction. ​ ​ Diet Northern bald ibis eat a wide variety of foods, especially grasshoppers, locusts, mole-crickets, crickets, beetles and small reptiles. They will also eat most other invertebrates and small vertebrates they can find, including scorpions, snails, worms, frogs and fish. ​ Longevity record 24-32 years Velleran Qargħi / Velleran Eremita Geronticus eremita Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae Vagrant Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in One single record on 15th Oct 2017 ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Immature Pink bill and still have face feathers. Iris still darker than in adults. Immature Pink bill and still have face feathers. Iris still darker than in adults. Adult Red bill. Elongated nape feathers. Yellow to orange iris. Immature Pink bill and still have face feathers. Iris still darker than in adults. 1/4 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 70 - 80 120 - 135 1.0 - 1.3 Back to Glossary Picture taken abroad Glossy Ibis Glossy Ibis Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in small groups. Occasionally in larger groups >10 individuals. ​ Resembles a big, black Curlew, but can only be confused with Bald Ibis. Differs from this by longer, slender neck, rounded and feathered head, long legs (trailing in flight) and heavier bill. Bare parts greyish, not red. Adults with glossy green wings. Immatures and birds in winter plumage with white-speckled head and neck. Head and legs droops slightly below horizontal plane in flight, leaving a "hunched" impression. Wing beats faster than herons of same size. May glide longer distances, but does not soar like Bald Ibis. Flight formation loose, diagonal or in single file with undulating movements. ​ ​ Diet Insects, small fish and aquatic invertebrates, including molluscs and crabs. It uses its long bill to probe through mud and shallow water to find prey. ​ Longevity record 9 years (Shot in Hungary, 27530) Velleran / Veneral Plegadis falcinellus Pelecaniformes Threskiornithidae Very scarce Usually seen in March - April ​ Occasionally seen in May-June, August - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/13 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 55 - 65 88 - 105 530 - 768 Back to Glossary Little Grebe Little Grebe Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in pairs. ​ Small, dark grebe with bright yellow gape, short neck and bill. Winter plumage paler than summer, with chestnut flanks, neck and cheeks, giving less contrast between upper- and underparts. Fluffy, pale stern. No crest or tufts/tippets and no white markings on wings. ​ ​ Diet Insects, small fish, molluscs, crustaceans and amphibians. ​ Longevity record 17 years (Switzerland, 929838) Blonġun Żgħir Tachybaptus ruficollis Podicipediformes Podicipedidae Very scarce Back to Glossary Usually seen in September - February ​ Occasionally seen in March, July - August, all other months for resident individuals at Simar ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Juvenile Bright yellow bill, gape still not formed, broader white in chin and white side feathers indicating a juvenile. Adult summer Distinctive yellow gape, chestnut cheeks and foreneck in spring adults. Black bill with paler yellowish end tip. Juvenile Bright yellow bill, gape still not formed, broader white in chin and white side feathers indicating a juvenile. Juvenile Bright yellow bill, gape still not formed, broader white in chin and white side feathers indicating a juvenile. 1/15 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 23 - 29 40 - 45 140 - 193 Great Crested Grebe Great Crested Grebe Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but occasionally in groups. ​ Unmistakable in summer plumage with black crest, and black and chestnut tippets. Paler coloured (pinkish) bill than other grebes (also in winter). Gives a slender and more elegant impression. Swims with body low and a stretched slender neck, or with head rested on back. Winter; very pale. Pale, pinkish bill. White area above lores. Front of neck white. Shows white lesser- and median coverts in flight together with white wing-bar. ​ ​ Diet The great crested grebe feeds mainly on fish, but also small crustaceans, insects small frogs and newts. ​ Longevity record 19 years (Shot in Russia, C 111277) Blonġun Prim Podiceps cristatus Podicipediformes Podicipedidae Scarce Usually seen in October - March ​ Occasionally seen in April, August - September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adult summer Long head plumes, chestnut face feathers and a darker back and sides in summer plumage. Adult summer Long head plumes, chestnut face feathers and a darker back and sides in summer plumage. Adult summer Long head plumes, chestnut face feathers and a darker back and sides in summer plumage. Adult summer Long head plumes, chestnut face feathers and a darker back and sides in summer plumage. 1/12 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (kg): 46 - 51 59 - 73 0.8 - 2.0 Back to Glossary Black-necked Grebe Black-necked Grebe Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or in small groups. ​ Small and dark grebe, with squarish head and thin, uptilted bill. Adult breeding plumage distinct, with unique combination of black head and neck, and a spray of golden, fan-like feathers from eye to nape. Head profile distinct, with its steep forehead. In winter plumage highest point is above the eye. Much more contrasting plumage than Little Grebe. Avoids to take wing if possible. ​ ​ Diet This grebe eats mostly insects, of both adult and larval stages, as well as crustaceans, molluscs, tadpoles, and small frogs and fish. When moulting at lakes with high salinity, although, this bird feeds mostly on brine shrimp. ​ Longevity record 13 years (Shot in the Czech Republic, D 43196) Blonġun Sekond Podiceps nigricollis Podicipediformes Podicipedidae Fairly common Usually seen in October - December ​ Occasionally seen in January - April, August - September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adult moulting to summer plumage Adult moulting to summer plumage Adult summer Bright red iris, black head, neck and back. Peak on head. Chestnut side feathers. Yellow ear-tufts. Adult moulting to summer plumage 1/22 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 28 - 34 56 - 60 250 - 350 Back to Glossary Oystercatcher Eurasian Oystercatcher Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups but can be seen individually. ​ Unmistakable shorebird. Large wader with black and white plumage, striking orange-red, straight bill and red orbital ring. Legs pinkish in adults and grey in juveniles. Broad white wing-bars. Stocky build, with fairly short legs and broad chest. Flight pattern straight and level. Winter plumage with white half-collar on chin. Juveniles with browner tone to upperparts than adults, and black tip of bill. ​ ​ Diet In muddy coasts, worms are the most important part of the diet, whereas rocky shore oystercatchers prey upon limpets, mussels, gastropods, and chitons. ​ Longevity record 43 years (Killed by a bird of prey in Germany, 5022926) Gallina tal-Baħar Haematopus ostralegus Charadriiformes Haematopodidae Very scarce Usually seen in August ​ ​ Occasionally seen in March - July, September - December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adult summer Red bill showing an adult. Lack of white collar indicating a summer plumage. 1st summer birds have a dark tip on the end of the bill. Interesting to note that all photos taken are all of adult birds. 1/27 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 39 - 44 72 - 83 380 - 520 Back to Glossary Pied Avocet Pied Avocet Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups but can be seen individually and in large flocks. ​ An elegant, long-legged, black and white wader with a long, upcurved bill. Plumage mainly white, with black wing-tips, coverts, crown and hind-neck. Pretty unmistakable. Confusion with Juvenile Shelduck possible at very long range. Flight pattern even and mostly without glides. ​ Females have a shorter but more sharply curved bills than males. ​ ​ Diet Pied Avocets mostly feed on crustaceans and insects. They typically forage in shallow brackish water or on mud flats, often moving their bills from side to side in water as they search for food. Pied Avocets breed near shallow lakes with brackish water and exposed bare mud. ​ Longevity record 27 years (Ring read in the field in the Netherlands, 3047434) Xifa Recurvirostra avosetta Recurvirostridae Charadriiformes Very scarce Usually seen in March - April, August - September ​ Occasionally seen in May, October - December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adult female Shorter and more sharply curved bill indicative of a female. 1/16 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 42 - 46 67 - 77 225 - 400 Back to Glossary Black-Winged Stilt Black-winged Stilt Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen in small groups but can be seen individually and in large flocks. ​ Unmistakable due to the extremely long, red legs. High contrast plumage with pointed, black wings (both upper and under-side) and white underparts. Tail white, with white wedge extending up back. Back of adult male sooty black, while brownish black in female and immature. Head all white or with black markings independent of sex (males more often have black markings than females though). Immature with faint, pale fringes to coverts, and white trailing edge to secondaries visible in flight. ​ ​ Diet Black-winged Stilts feed mainly on aquatic insects, but will also take molluscs and crustaceans. They rarely swim for food, preferring instead to wade in shallow water, and seize prey on or near the surface. Occasionally, birds plunge their heads below the surface to catch sub-aquatic prey. ​ Longevity record 10 years (Ring read in the field in Spain, 4037768) Fra Servjent / Passarvjent Himantopus himantopus Recurvirostridae Charadriiformes Fairly common Usually seen in March - May, July - August ​ Occasionally seen in February, June, September - October ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow Adults Males - dark black backs Females - brown tinged backs Black on head patterns varies between males and females but males tend to have more black on the head. Adults Males - dark black backs Females - brown tinged backs Black on head patterns varies between males and females but males tend to have more black on the head. 1/38 Length (cm): Wingspan (cm): Weight (g): 33 - 36 71 - 83 150 - 210 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

  • Flycatchers | Birds of Malta

    Flycatchers Rufous tailed scrub robin Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. Adult male and female Rufous-tailed Scrub Robin look alike and measure about 15 cm long with relatively long legs and a large rounded tail. The upper parts are a rich brownish chestnut, with the rump and uppertail coverts rather more rufous. There is a distinct curved, creamy-white broad streak from the nostrils to behind the eye and a dark brown line through the eye. The under-eye area is whitish and the ear coverts pale brown. The eye and the beak are both brown but the lower mandible of the beak has a greyish base. The underparts are buffish white, with the chin, central belly and undertail coverts paler than the other parts. The feathers of the wing are dark brown, fringed on the leading edge with buff and on the trailing edge with pale chestnut-brown and with the secondaries tipped with white. The central pair of feathers on the tail are bright rufous-chestnut with narrow black tips and the rest a similar colour with white tips and adjacent broad black bands. The legs and feet are pale brown. Juveniles are similar in appearance but generally a paler sandy-brown colour. ​ ​ Diet It feeds mainly on the ground on insects such as beetles, grasshoppers and the larvae of butterflies and moths, and on earthworms, turning over the leaf litter to find its prey. ​ Longevity record 7 years Rożinjol tax-Xagħri Cercotrichas galactotes Passeriformes Muscicapidae Rare ​ Usually seen in April - May ​ Occasionally seen in October - December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 15 - 17 20 - 27 Back to Glossary European Robin European Robin Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but can be seen fighting for territory. Rufous red face, throat and chest, framed in slate grey in adults of both sexes. Olive brown to grey upperparts and dull white underparts. Head rather large, and body rather stocky when plumage puffed, despite thin bill and slender legs. Juveniles lack the red front and are heavily spotted in buff on a dark brown body with barred chest. Adults pretty unmistakable when seen well. Flight usually low and darting, with quick changes of directions before disappearing in thick bushes. Posture usually erect with frequent flicking of tail and wings. ​ ​ Diet European robins are insectivorous and eat a wide range of insects, including spiders. Worms are also part of their diet, and in autumn and winter, these birds will eat more fruit and berries when insects are difficult to find. ​ Longevity record 19 years 4 months (Found dead in the Chech Republic, Z 364896) Pitirross Erithacus rubecula Passeriformes Muscicapidae Common ​ Usually seen in September - March ​ Occasionally seen in all other months ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/14 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12.5 - 14 13 - 21 Back to Glossary Comon Nightingale Common Nightingale Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Anonymous, indistinct plumage and secretive behaviour makes it an easily overlooked bird (except when singing). Tail rufous brown, upperparts warm brown. Underparts buff and white. Throat without streaking. Tail more rufous, and contrasts less with the warm brown back, than in Thrush Nightingale. Overall a more smooth and clean appearance. Behaviour with jumping gait, erect posture, raised tail and drooping wings. ​ ​ Diet Nightingales feed mainly on insects, mainly through foraging on the ground, and in particular are partial to ants and beetles. ​ Longevity record 10 years 11 months (Spain, 2498771) Rożinjol Luscinia megarhynchos Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common ​ Usually seen in March - May, August - October ​ Occasionally seen in June, November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 22-04-20 14-04-20 22-04-20 1/6 Length (cm): Weight (g): 15 - 16.5 18 - 27 Back to Glossary Bluethroat Bluethroat Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Male unmistakable. Blue throat with rufous red or white center (both sub-species occur in Malta), white supercilium and rufous base of outer tail feathers. Female lacking, or having just a partially blue throat. Female and juveniles could be confused with Redstart because of the rufous tail, but note its dark, bold trailing edge and center. An elegant and fairly long-legged chat that often flicks its wings and cocks its tail. ​ The Bluethroat with a white chest spot is usually seen only in Spring, whereas the Red-spotted Bluethroat can be seen in both Autumn and Spring. ​ ​ Diet Primarily invertebrates, mainly insects, with some seeds and fruit. ​ Longevity record 11 years 5 months (Spain, N 0074112) Rożinjol Ikħal Luscinia svecica Passeriformes Muscicapidae Rare Usually seen in March - April, October - November ​ Occasionally seen in January, February, May, September ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1st winter plumage Svecica (N. Europe) sub-species due to the rusty patch just being seen on the top part of the blue throat. Eventually once the birds moults into its full plumage, the rusty spot will be in the middle of its blueish throat. 1st winter plumage Svecica (N. Europe) sub-species due to the rusty patch just being seen on the top part of the blue throat. Eventually once the birds moults into its full plumage, the rusty spot will be in the middle of its blueish throat. 1st winter plumage Svecica (N. Europe) sub-species due to the rusty patch just being seen on the top part of the blue throat. Eventually once the birds moults into its full plumage, the rusty spot will be in the middle of its blueish throat. 1/15 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14 15 - 21 Back to Glossary Western Black Redstart Western Black Redstart Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or multiple individuals fighting over territory or within the same area. ​ Male: Charcoal to black plumage, with rufous red tail, pale belly and pale wing-panel (south-eastern subspecies with rufous belly and no wing-panel). Female: Grey brown overall, except rufous tail. Lacks the orange tinge to breast and belly of female Common Redstart. Juveniles resembles the adult female, and lacks the buff speckles of congeners. May jump around on the ground like Common Redstart, but are more prone to run. Also shows a more erect posture. ​ ​ Diet Black Redstart feeds mainly on invertebrates such as grasshoppers, bugs, lepidopteran insects, flies, ants, bees, wasps, beetles, spiders, small molluscs and earth worms. It also feeds on berries, fruits and seeds. ​ Longevity record 10 years 2 months (Killed in the Netherlands, S 128312) Kudirross Iswed / Fjammu Iswed / Ta' Denbu Aħmar Phoenicurus ochruros gibraltariensis Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common Usually seen in October - March ​ Occasionally seen in April ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 29-10-17 1/11 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14.5 12 - 20 Back to Glossary Redstart Common Redstart Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually or multiple individuals fighting over territory or within the same area. ​ Rufous tail with dark brown center in all plumages. Most noticeable in flight when tail is spread. Male unmistakable with black face and throat, white band across forehead, orange-red breast and grey back. Female relatively featureless, except for the characteristic rufous tail. Other characters are brown-grey upperparts, pale eye-ring, and orange tinge to breast. Erect posture with frequent tail flicking. ​ Diet The Common Redstart feeds mainly on invertebrates such as grasshoppers, bugs, lepidopteran insects, flies, ants, bees, wasps, beetles, spiders, small molluscs and earth worms. It also feeds on berries, fruits and seeds. ​ Longevity record 10 years 3 months (Killed in Denmark, 9H 40474) Kudirross / Fjammu / Ta' Denbu Aħmar Phoenicurus phoenicurus Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common Usually seen in March - May, August - November ​ Occasionally seen in June, December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 06-04-19 22-04-20 02-05-20 06-04-19 1/14 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13 - 14.5 12 - 18 Back to Glossary Moussier's Redstart Moussier's Redstart Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ ​ It is an endemic resident breeder in the Atlas Mountains of northwest Africa . Its habitat is open woodland in rocky areas from sea level up to 3000 m altitude in the mountains. ​ The male has a black head with a broad white stripe running above each eye and down the side of the neck. The upperparts are black other than a white wing patch, and the rich chestnut tail, from which it and other redstarts get their names ('start' is an old word for 'tail'). The underparts are a rich orange-red. The female has a pale brown head and upperparts, and the underparts are a paler orange than the male, although generally redder than the underparts of the similar but larger female Common Redstart ​ ​ Diet This Redstart feeds mainly on invertebrates such as grasshoppers, bugs, lepidopteran insects, flies, ants, bees, wasps, beetles, spiders, small molluscs and earth worms. It also feeds on berries, fruits and seeds. ​ Longevity record - Kudirross Aħmar Phoenicurus moussieri Passeriformes Muscicapidae Rare ​ Usually seen in - ​ Occasionally seen in February - April, October - December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/16 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13 12 - 15 Back to Glossary Whinchat Whinchat Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple birds can be seen in the same area. ​ An erect posture and large head. Distinct white or buff supercilium in all plumages. Base of primaries shiny white in adults, especially adult male. Coarsely spotted buff rump. Base of tail with white triangular patches. Juveniles with white speckles on upperparts and whitish throat. Lacks the white base of primaries, but supercilium bold. ​ ​ Diet Whinchats are insectivorous, feeding largely (about 80–90%) on insects, but also consume a wide range of other invertebrates including spiders, small snails and worms. They also eat small amounts of fruit such as blackberries, primarily in autumn. ​ Longevity record 6 years 11 months (Czech Republic, T 389922) Buċaqq tas-Silla / Buċaqċaq Saxicola rubetra Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common Usually seen in March - May, August - October ​ Occasionally seen in February, November - December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 20-04-18 26-04-19 20-04-18 1/12 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 14 14 - 18 Back to Glossary European Stonechat European Stonechat Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple birds can be seen in the same area. ​ Quite similar to Whinchat all plumages lack the strong pale supercilium. Male easily identified by its mainly black and white plumage, black throat and white half-collar. Other plumages seem much more evenly coloured than the Whinchat's, with its more pronounced streaking. Adult females also with diffuse black throat, but this becomes paler as the plumage is worn. All plumages show white patch at base of wing in flight. Rump usually streaked, but sometimes has a white center, or can even be completely white. Juveniles like female, but with streaked underparts. Always restlessly on the move with frequent dipping of tail. ​ ​ Diet Almost entirely invertebrates, mainly small or medium-sized insects and their larvae; occasionally small vertebrates, seeds and fruit. ​ Longevity record 8 years 10 months (Germany, 9X 36806) Buċaqq tax-Xitwa / Buċaqċaq Saxicola rubicola Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common Usually seen in September - April ​ Occasionally seen in - ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 30-10-20 1/8 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11.5 - 13 13 - 17 Back to Glossary Northern Wheatear Northern Wheatear Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple birds can be seen in the same area. ​ Epitome of wheatears. Male with grey back, white supercilium, black mask and dark wings. Females have less contrast, are more brownish than grey, the supercilium is fainter and the black mask is missing. Rump white and tail white with black "T" in all plumages. The black in the middle tail-feathers is always at least as long as the width of the black terminal tail-band. Pale individuals can be mistaken for Isabelline Wheatear, but note that the supercilium is buff between eye and base of bill. ​ ​ Diet It feeds on adults and larvae of numerous insects' species, large insects, spiders, small snails and earthworms. In autumn, it feeds on berries from several plant species. The Northern Wheatear has similar diet on the wintering grounds where it is often attracted by burnt areas with ants and termites. ​ Longevity record 10 years 1 months (Sweden, 1EE42448) Kuda Oenanthe oenanthe Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common Usually seen in March - May, August - November ​ Occasionally seen in February, June ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 15-04-17 24-04-20 15-04-17 15-04-17 1/12 Length (cm): Weight (g): 14 - 16.5 19 - 29 Back to Glossary Isabelline Wheatear Isabelline Wheatear Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ Male and female isabelline wheatear are similar in appearance. The upper-parts are a pale sandy brown with an isabelline tinge (isabelline is a pale grey-yellow, fawn, cream-brown or parchment colour). The lower back is isabelline and the rump and upper tail-coverts are white. The tail feathers are brownish-black with a narrow edge and tip of buff and a large white base. In the outer tail feathers this occupies more than half the length of the feather but in the central feathers it is about one third. There is an over-eye streak of creamy white and the ear-coverts are pale brown. The chin is pale cream and the throat pale buff. The breast is sandy or isabelline buff and the belly creamy white. The under tail-coverts are pale buff and the under wing-coverts and axilliaries white with dark bases. The wing feathers are brownish-black, tipped and edged with creamy buff. The beak, legs and feet are black and the irises are brown. ​ ​ Diet Its diet includes ants, grasshoppers, moths, flies, mites, spiders and insect larvae, and it sometimes eats seeds as well. Isabelline Wheatears are solitary birds in their winter quarters and may associate with other Oenanthe species during migration. ​ Longevity record - Kuda Iżabellina Oenanthe isabellina Passeriformes Muscicapidae Scarce ​ Usually seen in March - April ​ Occasionally seen in May, October - November ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 30-03-18 30-03-18 30-03-18 1/9 Length (cm): Weight (g): 15 - 16.5 25 - 35 Back to Glossary Desert Wheatear Desert Wheatear Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ The head and nape of the adult male Desert Wheatear are a pale sandy-grey colour with the feathers tipped grey. The mantle, scapulars and back are a similar but rather richer colour. The rump and upper tail-coverts are pale buff. The basal third of the tail feathers are white and the rest black with a pale buff tip. A curved stripe over the eye is pale buff and extends backwards. The feathers of the chin, throat, lores and ear-coverts are black tipped with white. The breast and flanks are sandy-buff and the belly and under tail-coverts are creamy-white tinged with buff. The axillaries and under wing-coverts are black tipped with white. The primaries have black outer webs, tipped and edged with white and inner webs pale brown edged with white. The secondaries are similar but have broader white edges to both webs. ​ The female has similar plumage but the rump and upper tail-coverts are more sandy brown, the lores, chin and throat pale buff and the dark parts of the tail brownish-black. ​ ​ Diet Its diet includes ants, grasshoppers, moths, flies, mites, spiders and insect larvae, and it sometimes eats seeds as well. ​ Longevity record - Kuda tad-Deżert Oenanthe deserti Passeriformes Muscicapidae Vagrant ​ Usually seen in March, October - November ​ Occasionally seen in April, December ​ ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/0 Length (cm): Weight (g): 14.5 - 15.5 21 - 27 Back to Glossary Western Black-eared Wheatear Western Black-eared Wheatear Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ The breeding male has the forehead and crown white or nearly white, the mantle buff, and the wings blacker than those of the Northern Wheatear . The underparts are white tinged with buff. The back, upper tail coverts and most of the tail are white. A black mask extends from the ear coverts to the bill. The throat can be either black (black-throated) or white (pale-throated). In autumn and winter the head and mantle are distinctly buff, as are the underparts (including the throat in pale-throated individuals), but the buff varies in intensity. Except for the central pair, the tail feathers are much whiter than in the Northern Wheatear, the white on the inner web often extending to the tip. ​ The female is a browner bird, but has the characteristic white lower back, and her seasonal changes are less marked. ​ The male Western Black-eared Wheatear can be distinguished from the male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear by its more buff-tinged upperparts, giving it a less distinctly black-and-white appearance than the latter species, as well as having the black of the mask stopping at the base of the bill rather than extending slightly above. Also the black mask of the Eastern type goes above the eye whilst that of the Western does not or is very slightly surpassed. Black-throated individuals of this species have less black on the throat and face than on the eastern birds, and the black generally terminates less abruptly. Females of this species differ from their eastern counterparts in being warmer brown overall. ​ ​ Diet Its diet includes ants, grasshoppers, moths, flies, mites, spiders and insect larvae, and it sometimes eats seeds as well. ​ Longevity record 10 years Kuda Dumnikana tal-Punent Oenanthe hispanica Passeriformes Muscicapidae Very rare ​ Usually seen in April ​ Occasionally seen in March, May ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 01-05-19 01-05-19 01-05-19 01-05-19 1/5 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13.5 - 15.5 15 - 22 Back to Glossary Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Eastern Black-eared Wheatear Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but multiple individuals can be seen within the same area. ​ The breeding male has the forehead, crown, and mantle white or nearly white with a buff tinge, and the wings blacker than those of the Northern Wheatear . The underparts are white tinged with buff. The back, upper tail coverts and most of the tail are white. A black mask extends from the ear coverts to the bill. The throat can be either black or white. The female is a more gray-brown bird, but has the characteristic white lower back, and her seasonal changes are less marked. ​ The male Eastern Black-eared Wheatear can be distinguished from the male Western Black-eared Wheatear by its whiter, less buff-tinted upperparts than the latter species, giving it a more distinctly black-and-white appearance, as well as by having the black of the mask reaching just above the base of the bill. Black-throated individuals of this species have a greater amount of black on the throat and face than on the western birds, and the black generally terminates more abruptly or in a straighter line. Females of this species differ from their western counterparts in being overall colder-colored and duller. ​ It is found breeding in the eastern Mediterranean , Southeast Europe to the Caspian Sea and Iran and migrates to winter quarters in the Sudan . ​ ​ Diet Its diet includes ants, grasshoppers, moths, flies, mites, spiders and insect larvae, and it sometimes eats seeds as well. ​ Longevity record 10 years Kuda Dumnikana Oenanthe melanoleuca Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common Usually seen in March - May ​ Occasionally seen in June, August - October ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 31-03-20 1/32 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13.5 - 15.5 15 - 22 Back to Glossary White-crowned Wheatear White-crowned Wheatear Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Large and powerful for a wheatear with glossy black plumage; found in rocky deserts. Only adults have a white cap. Sexes similar. In all plumages lacks a black terminal tail band; its mostly white tail separates it from other similar black wheatears. Inhabits rocky slopes and steep desert wadis. The male sings a clear series of whistles and trills; often given during a display flight. ​ ​ Diet Its diet includes ants, grasshoppers, moths, flies, mites, spiders and insect larvae, and it sometimes eats seeds as well. ​ Longevity record n/a Kuda Rasha Bajda Oenanthe leucopyga Passeriformes Muscicapidae Vagrant Back to Glossary Usually seen in --- ​ ​ Occasionally seen in March - April ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/11 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13.5 - 15.5 23 - 32 Red-breasted flycatcher Red-breasted Flycatcher Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. ​ A small and elegant flycatcher with deep chest, slender vent and fairly long tail. Head rounded and bill thin. Best field mark is the dark tail with white edges at the base (Wheatear-like) shown in all plumages. Often flirts tail, showing the diagnostic markings. Male recognized by Robin-like throat-patch and slate grey head. The red is restricted to the upper throat, and does not extend to the cheeks like in Robin. Very acrobatic flight when hunting. More pronounced flicking of tail than in other flycatchers, with tail sometimes even pointing forward over back, before being let down slowly. ​ Diet The Red-breasted Flycatcher feeds primarily on insects of several species, and also takes worms, snails and woodlice ​ Longevity record 10 years Żanżarell ta' Sidru Aħmar Ficedula parva Passeriformes Muscicapidae Very scarce ​ Back to Glossary Usually seen in October ​ Occasionally seen in April - May, September, December ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 1/3 Length (cm): Weight (g): 11 - 12 10 - 12 Spotted flycatcher Spotted Flycatcher Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but are seen in good quantities within the same area. Seen in pairs in Spring and Summer and some reside and breed. Easily overlooked bird with greyish brown upperparts and pale underparts. Crown and chest speckled. Bill and legs black. Slim white fringes to flight feathers and greater coverts. Body, wings and bill longer than in Pied Flycatcher, leaving a more elongated impression. Erect posture. Behaviour similar to congeners, with rapid darts and frequent hovering when hunting insects. Flicks tail and wings while perched. ​ ​ Diet The Spotted Flycatcher feeds primarily on flying insects of several species, and also spiders, snails and earthworms, and some small fruits and berries. It hunts by performing sallies from perch, at 1-2 metres above the ground. It catches the prey while flying, and returns to the perch to eat the insect. ​ Longevity record 11 years (Killed by a cat in Finland, J-978561) Żanżarell tat-Tikki Muscicapa striata Passeriformes Muscicapidae Common ​ Usually seen in March - May, August - November ​ Occasionally seen in all other months for resident birds ​ Click on the image to open slideshow 16-06-18 16-06-18 1/10 Length (cm): Weight (g): 13.5 - 15 13 - 19 Back to Glossary Semi-collared Flycatcher Semi-collared Flycatcher Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually. The breeding male is mainly black above and white below, with a white half-collar, extending further back than in pied, large white wing patch, extensively white tail sides and a large white forehead patch. It has a pale grey rump. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. It mainly takes insects in flight, rarely hunting caterpillars amongst the tree foliage like Pied Flycatcher. ​ Non-breeding male, females and juvenile semi-collared flycatchers have the black replaced by a pale brown, and may be very difficult to distinguish from other Ficedula flycatchers, particularly the Collared Flycatcher. A distinction is that Semi-collared may show a white second wing bar, but many individuals are not separable in the field. ​ ​ Diet t mainly takes insects in flight, rarely hunting caterpillars amongst the tree foliage like pied flycatcher ​ Longevity record 9 years Żanżarell tal-Lvant Ficedula semitorquata Passeriformes Muscicapidae Very rare ​ Usually seen in March - April ​ Occasionally seen in May, September Click on the image to open slideshow 1/1 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 10 - 17 Back to Glossary Collared flycatcher Collared Flycatcher Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but are seen in multiple numbers within the same area. The breeding male is mainly black above and white below, with a white collar, large white wing patch, black tail (although some males have white tail sides) and a large white forehead patch. It has a pale rump. The bill is black and has the broad but pointed shape typical of aerial insectivores. Non-breeding males, females and juveniles have the black replaced by a pale brown, and may be very difficult to distinguish from other Ficedula flycatchers, particularly the European Pied Flycatcher and the Semi-collared Flycatcher , with which this species hybridizes to a limited extent. ​ ​ Diet As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the foliage, and will take berries. ​ Longevity record 9 years 10 months (Hungary, T 06103) Żanżarell tal-Kullar / Għasfur tal-Gamiem Ficedula albicollis Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common ​ Usually seen in April - May ​ Occasionally seen in March, June, August - October Click on the image to open slideshow 18/04/20 1/13 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 10 - 17 Back to Glossary Pied flycatcher European Pied Flycatcher Maltese name/s Scientific binomen Order Family Sighting occurrence ​ Info* Usually seen individually but are seen in multiple numbers within the same area. ​ Male with shiny black upperparts and pure white underparts. Female grey-brown with pale underparts. Both sexes with broad white edges to tertials and greater coverts, forming a broad white patch (largest in males). Fairly compact body compared to Spotted Flycatcher, with shorter tail and bill. Easily confused with Collared and Semi-collared Flycatcher where these occur. Both sexes differs from Semi-collared in no white edges to end of tail and less white at base. Distinguished from Collared in white patch beneath alula being narrow and not reaching edge of wing (both sexes), white base of tail (black in Collared males) and no collar (males). ​ Diet As well as taking insects in flight, this species hunts caterpillars amongst the oak foliage, and will take berries ​ Longevity record 10 years 11 months (A shot bird in Finland, J-574662) Żanżarell Iswed / Għasfur tal-Gamiem Ficedula hypoleuca Passeriformes Muscicapidae Fairly common ​ Usually seen in April - May ​ Occasionally seen in March, June, August - November Click on the image to open slideshow 25-04-18 25-04-18 1/8 Length (cm): Weight (g): 12 - 13.5 10 - 17 Back to Glossary *Some information was sourced from ''BirdID Nord University''.

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