BirdLife research on Mediterranean's 'most enigmatic bird'
Back in the 60’s, a ringing project was initiated which continues to yield extraordinary results to date.
The Storm-Petrel, a seabird found in Malta in huge numbers with their largest colony of 8000 breeding pairs situated on the islet of Filfla in the Maltese archipelago, has been the center of a study for over 50 years. The study has revealed a number of clues to the birds migration habits and age.
The Storm-Petrel is not much bigger than a sparrow, and is the smallest seabird breeding in the Mediterranean. A ringed Storm-Petrel was recorded in 2008 in a colony in Greece showing its journey across the Med and was aged at 11 years old. More recently a bird was recorded showing its age to be 29 years old, although in 2013 a bird was caught that was ringed in 1981 making it the oldest recorded Storm-Petrel at a stunning 32 years
“BirdLife Malta has been studying the population on Filfla since the late 1960s, by ringing the birds with uniquely numbered rings. Recoveries of ringed birds have shown the movements between Filfla and a colony at Marettimo islet in Sicily,” a statement by the NGO read.
“BirdLife Malta and its BirdLife partners will continue to strive for the conservation of seabirds in the Mediterranean to ensure that species like the Mediterranean Storm-petrel continue being able to live so long,” the NGO said.