Times of Malta — Beauties and the Beasts:
One of the little egrets that recently successfully bred in Malta for the first time has been shot and killed. A witness said the bird was killed while flying near the Salina salt pans.
Another survived the gunshot though it has a lot of feathers missing from one of its wings.
This is the first year when four young egrets fletched successfully. They bred on top of a large aviary at the Malta Bird Park.
A grey heron, which for the past week had made the bird park its home, and which was often seen flying with the egrets, was also shot on Friday.
Egrets and herons are strictly protected species, not to mention that bird hunting is currently prohibited.
In 2007, a pair of egrets had built a nest and laid three eggs and in 2008 another pair had built a nest, but none were successful as the adults were shot.
Image credit: Jane Stylianou