Despite their small size, the Maltese Islands have a rich history that spans 7000 years. For centuries, their strategic location in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea was coveted by successive powers as a base for control and expansion.
The Islands are also of strategic value as a resting and refuelling station for millions of migratory birds crossing the sea between Europe and Africa. These mysterious seasonal comings and goings of birds no doubt fascinated people down the ages. Not surprisingly, the Islands’ ornithological history is also rich and varied.
This book traces all written references to bird observation and study in the Maltese Islands, from a comment by a 16th century French monk to the latest groundbreaking research projects. It is an account of the evolution of bird study and ornithological literature in Malta, interspersed with brief biographies of the human protagonists.