Baby birds take 60-mile day trip from their nest
- Credit: Archant
They tend not to travel great distances from the place they were hatched, but five little wren chicks survived a precarious 60-mile round trip before they had even fledged.
The baby birds were still in their nest when their adventure started and if it wasn’t for the actions of one Norfolk shepherdess their journey would have come to a fatal end.
The nest had been built in the wheel of a seed drill that had sat in a barn on a farm in Barnham Broom all winter.
But just days before the birds would have been ready to fly the drill was sold and transported to its new owner in Acle.
It was loaded up onto a trailer behind a tractor by Digger Harrold and his girlfriend Bethany Atkinson last weekend, unaware of the tiny cargo on board.
And after navigating all the way down the busy A47 to Acle Miss Atkinson, a shepherdess and photographer, heard a chirping sound.
“I thought a bird had flown in and was trapped so I had to climb up and have a look,” she said.
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“I couldn’t believe there was a tiny nest and five tiny birds inside. I don’t know how they didn’t fall off on the journey. And if they had lowered the wheels to use the drill the nest would have been squished. I had to take them home so back they came on the tractor with us.”
Worried that the mother wren was nowhere to be seen back at the farmyard in Barnham Broom, and with farm cats on the prowl, Miss Atkinson, 25, thought their best chance of survival was for her to feed them and keep them warm.
“I used tweezers to feed them wet dog food every two hours,” she said. “They were awake at dawn shouting for food. I was just relieved they were still alive.”
The next day she contacted PACT animal sanctuary in Woodrising who took them in and are hand rearing them until they are ready to fly.
“They are fairly well travelled birds already,” she said.