Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Fly-drive holiday: Five baby birds accidentally taken 185miles away from parents after lorry carrying their nest heads north


Sleep tight: These fledgling wagtails had been nesting in a disused helicopter that was loaded on to a lorry and carted 185 miles away

This group of fledgling wagtails migrated earlier than expected - after hitching a ride for 185 miles on the back of a lorry.

The five birds, all aged between four and six weeks old, hatched in a nest which had been built by their parents in a disused helicopter in Yeovil, Somerset.

But the helicopter was loaded on to the back of a flat-bed lorry on July 5 and transported to Tittensor near Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

Chirping: Staff could hear the wagtails making noises but no one could figure out where the noises were coming from

Staff at Bassett Group Holding Limited were alerted by their chirping but their parents were nowhere to be seen.

They are now being cared for at RSPCA Stapeley Grange Wildlife Centre in Cheshire.

None of the birds required treatment on their arrival other than an instant meal to satisfy their hunger.

They have flourished in their care and will be released into the wild when they are old enough to fend for themselves.

Centre manager Lee Stewart said: 'The birds have done fantastically well after their ordeal but you have to feel for the parents - one minute they were there, the next they were gone.

Home: The birds, all between four and six weeks old, are being looked after at an RSPCA centre after their accidental journey

'They are an extremely lively group, bouncing from perch to perch. They will soon be heading out to a large passerine aviary which is the last step before the big day and their return to the wild.

'Wagtails can be found throughout most of the UK, so they will be released at a suitable local site.'

Wagtails are known to nest in holes in walls, drain pipes and buildings and as their name suggests, have long tails which never stop wagging.

source: dailymail

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