Above: Shock find: five blue tits and a great tit were discovered dead at feeding stations by rangers from Horsham Council. Photo: RSPCA

 

SEVEN BLUE TITS and great tits have died at a Sussex nature reserve after bird feeders and nearby vegetation were laced with birdlime.

RSPCA officers were alerted to the incident earlier last month after rangers from Horsham District Council found dead birds stuck to feeders and on the ground at Warnham Local Nature Reserve (see News, “In Brief”, September 26). Wardens had filled up the feeders on site at 12pm on September 13, but were called back at 4pm following a phone call from a member of the public. 

Five blue tits and one great tit were found dead by RSPCA officers on arrival, due to being stuck to the traps via a substance identified as birdlime.

Four remaining birds – also blue tits and great tits – were rescued and taken in by the countryside warden to be cleaned and rehabilitated.

A spokesperson for Horsham District Council explained: “One bird died the evening of the event, while the other three have all been released after cleaning by the warden team.

“The feeders that were affected were all in front of a public viewing hide, which is popular with birdwatchers. All eight feeders had perches covered in glue as well as twigs attached. There were also a number of branches in the same location, which had glue on them.”

The RSPCA is still appealing for information on three men seen in the area acting suspiciously. Two of the suspects are described as about 30 years old, 1.8m (6ft) tall with short hair, shaved at the sides and long on top. The third man is believed to be older, but not as tall and was wearing a cap.

An RSPCA spokesperson added: “We have had a number of people who have come forward with information and our officers are following up a number of leads.”

The RSPCA’s investigation is ongoing.

Can you help with the investigation? Please contact the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018. 

 

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