Two juvenile flamingos were released at the Għadira Nature Reserve on Saturday after having been rescued by hunters and nursed back to health by Birdlife. 

Hunters' group Kaċċaturi San Ubertu said one of the birds had been retrieved on August 24 by one of its members who managed the Għadira s-Safra Natura 2000 site, and the other by another hunter.

The birds were passed over to the Environment Protection Unit and then to Birdlife Malta for rehabilitation. 

Kaċċaturi San Ubertu said it was quite common at this time of year for young birds to separate from their flock during migration. Due to the lack of suitable habitat and food such exhausted birds need human intervention to build up their fat reserves to carry on their migration towards Africa.

Hunters or members of the public who came across such birds were advised to inform the Environment Protection Unit by calling 119  — giving details of the location and type of bird — and to remain with the bird until the arrival of the police.

Flamingos are currently in their autumn migratory season as they head to Africa. They generally travel in flocks of adults and juveniles, but younger birds occasionally tire out during the journey and descend to the ground to rest. 

Two flamingos landed at Għadira Bay last week, wading among swimmers at the popular northern beach. 

The following week, one was found dead in the sea off Xrobb l-Għaġin after bystanders heard shots fired. Hunters' groups disassociated themselves from and condemned the killing. 

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