| Scops Owl on Comino / RGalea|
The Comino Bird Ringing Project is held on the island of Comino (Kemmuna), a Bird Sanctuary which is of key importance for migratory birds.
The island is ideally situated in the Maltese islands, lying between Gozo and Malta in an area that acts as a funnel for migrating birds. It is a relatively undisturbed island, having very few inhabitants and no hunting or trapping, which makes it ideal for this fieldwork. The project is held at Wied L-Ahmar, an area which is under the care of BirdLife Malta.
The project, held annually since 1991, is undertaken twice a year: for a month in spring (15th of April to 15th of May) and two weeks in autumn (15th October to 31st October). During these two periods, large numbers of birds are ringed and released, with a yearly average of around 1500 birds in spring and 800 birds in autumn.
The intensive and standardised nature of this study means that we can study year-on-year changes in population sizes and age structures of the main migratory species passing over Malta. This has allowed us to record some interesting changes, such as the increase in numbers of Woodchat Shrikes Lanius senator in recent years.
The Comino Bird Ringing Project is held in conjunction with several other small Mediterranean islands, and is co-ordinated by a wildlife institute in Bologna, Italy.