Above: Still missing: a song thrush cock of T. & S. Paterson, which had won best British at Ollerton & Bevercotes CBS’s 2018 open show


POLICE OFFICERS IN Durham have seized three of more than 20 stolen exhibition softbills.

Three blackbirds belonging to elderly husband-and-wife partnership, Tom & Susan Paterson of Barnsley, were discovered by Northumbrian and Durham Police officers at a sales event more than 100 miles from the birdroom they were taken from over the Easter Bank Holiday (see News, May 1 issue).

The couple were alerted by a fellow fancier who had spotted the missing birds – a satinette hen, a cinnamon carrier blackbird cock and a cinnamon/satinette carrier cock – at the sale and called the police.

Mrs Paterson told Cage & Aviary Birds that the three recovered birds are now back in her care and in their aviaries. She said: “All three are doing well considering the circumstances. The satinette hen is still very wary and has lost weight.

“Both Tom and I have been desperately trying to find out what has happened to the rest of the birds.”

Softbills still missing include a blue blackbird cock; five normal hen blackbirds; four normal cock blackbirds; a cinnamon song thrush hen; a pair of normal thrushes; a satinette greenfinch hen; a cinnamon greenfinch hen; two cinnamon/satinette greenfinch carrier cocks; three cobalt common redpolls; three normal common redpolls; a pair of linnets and a siskin cock.

During the Easter Bank Holiday, an intruder broke into one of the couple’s garden sheds and escaped with the birds, leaving untouched a stud of exhibition Fife canaries.

Mr Paterson believes the thief or thieves selected particular cock and hen birds, many of which had won numerous awards on the show bench in recent years. The police investigation continues.

If you recognise any of the mentioned birds for sale, please contact Barnsley Police on 101 and state the following crime reference number: 14-64642-19.

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