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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 00:46 GMT 01:46 UK
In pictures: Malta's hunt victims

Turtle dove

Malta allows hunters to shoot turtle doves in spring, as they migrate from Africa to Europe, despite a decline in numbers. But many rarer birds are also killed illegally during the season.

Bee eater

This bee eater was found by school children in Malta's Simar nature reserve on 25 April, with fatal gunshot wounds to its wing and chest.

Kestrel

This kestrel, shot on the Maltese island of Gozo, was ringed in Finland. Both common kestrels and the much rarer lesser kestrel have been found shot dead in Malta.

Purple heron

British tourists found this purple heron, while out walking with their children. It had gunshot wounds to its wing, and a badly blasted beak.

Osprey

This osprey was found in 2006, with gunshot wounds to the wing and chest. It had to be put down. A week later a second osprey, ringed in Finland, was found killed.

Pallid harrier

There are just 50 breeding pairs of pallid harriers in Europe, outside Russia. A woman found this badly injured bird in her garden in the town of Delimara. It had to be put down.

Marsh harrier

This marsh harrier was shot on Gozo on the first day of the spring season. It is one of six dead or injured marsh harriers Birdlife Malta has seen this year.

Swift

This swift was reported to Birdlife Malta on 12 April with fatal gunshot wounds.

kingfisher

This kingfisher had the lower part of its beak shot off, during a previous year's spring hunting season.

stuffed birds

These stuffed birds, including purple heron, black-crowned night heron, little egret, great bittern and flamingo, were seized from a taxidermist in the 1990s. Picture: Joe Sultana.




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