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Title: Observations from a long term White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba roost in Valletta, Malta
Authors: Cachia, Denis
Raine, Andre
Keywords: Birds -- Breeding -- Malta -- Valletta
Motacilla alba -- Breeding -- Malta -- Valletta
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Birdlife Malta
Citation: Raine, A., & Cachia, D. (2010). Observations from a long term White Wagtail Motacilla alba alba roost in Valletta, Malta. Il-Merill, 32, 22-25.
Abstract: Data is presented on a long-term roost site used by wintering White Wagtails Motacilla alba alba in Valletta, Malta. Historical data shows that this site has been in regular usage since at least 1967 and is the main roost site for this species in Malta. For this reason the site is designated as a national Important Bird Area. The maximum count for this roost was made in 2009 of 7,761 individuals. Since 2001 when standardised counts began, on average 5,007 ± 626 individuals have been recorded annually using the roost. Birds predominantly come into the roosting area in a fifteen minute period between five minutes before sunset and ten minutes after sunset, with an average of 73.4% of birds coming in to roost during this time period alone. The majority of birds come from a west, south-west and southerly direction, suggesting that key feeding areas lie in this direction. Significantly fewer birds came from the south-east and easterly direction. A consideration of ring recovery data showed that birds wintering in Malta come from at least five countries; Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Denmark and Sweden. Despite the importance of the Valletta roost site for this species, in May 2010 the roost site was severely pruned by the Environment Landscape Consortium (ELC) and the canopy of the trees almost completely removed. This action will almost certainly have a serious detrimental effect on White Wagtails attempting to roost in the area in the winter of 2010 and beyond.
Appears in Collections:Il-Merill : issue 32 : 2010
Il-Merill : issue 32 : 2010

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