Hazel wings it to save 11 lives

A FAMILY of blue tits were flying on a wing and a prayer until hospital assistant Hazel Carey rescued them from a sticky end.

Tom Potter

A FAMILY of blue tits were flying on a wing and a prayer until hospital assistant Hazel Carey rescued them from a sticky end.

Mrs Carey, 50, of Kesgrave, had been watching birds come and go from the bird box her uncle set up in the garden of her Main Road home for the last few months.

But when she noticed the mother was no longer feeding the youngsters, her daily bird watching habit turned into a dash across the border to Essex in a bid to save their lives.

And now she has raised more than £200 to help the charity which took them in.

Mrs Carey had become quite familiar with the blue tits and their feeding habits but one day she noticed something unusual.

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The 50-year-old, who works on the Haughley ward at Ipswich Hospital as a renal assistant, said: “A couple of months ago my bird box became a hive of activity and then I noticed that there was only one bird feeding the babies.

“The poor bird did not look very healthy itself but continued to feed the babies sometimes going backward and forward up to four times a minute.

“Then one day I realised that I hadn't seen our blue tit come to the box and I waited until lunchtime in case I had missed it.”

The bird never returned and Mrs Carey grew increasingly concerned for the 11 babies in the birdbox.

She said: “I began to feel very helpless because I could hear lots of noise coming form the nesting box.

“I rang lots of people starting with the RSPB but everyone told me they couldn't help and that I should let nature take its course.

The next day the cries of these blue tits became cries of desperation, so I began to ring everyone I could think of.

“I couldn't let these screaming little birds die so I eventually got in touch with vet in Colchester who put me on to Wildlives Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre.”

Mrs Carey put the birds into a shoe box and drove them the other side of Colchester to Thorrington.

Wildlives fed them every 20 minutes throughout the day until they were ready to take seed and eventually all 11 were set free.

Mrs Carey was so impressed by the treatment provided by the rescue centre that she did a sponsored silence while at the beginning of July and raised £269.50 for them.

She said: “What would we do without people like these who devote so much of their time?

“I just wanted to share my happy story and give Wildlives some publicity, they certainly deserve it.”

- Have you been part of a bold wildlife rescue? Do you think rescue centres get enough recognition for the job they do? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk