Baby bird found in North Yorkshire army minibus

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SO does this make it a hatchback?

This minibus became home tweet home to a nesting bird.

Four eggs were found in incubation under the bonnet of the vehicle at Claro Barracks, part of Catterick Garrison, near Ripon.

The baby birds have since hatched.

But 21 Regiment, which rented the vehicle from Europcar in Hunslet, Leeds, is having to shell out extra to leave the minibus where it is until its squawking squatters have moved out.

Warrant Officer Richard Walker said: “We’ve been checking on it periodically to see how they’re doing, but we don’t want to disturb them.”

The Army rented the minibus for training exercises.

But after sitting idle for about a month, problems were discovered when it wouldn’t start.

Mr Walker added: “The battery had gone flat, so we popped the bonnet to jump-start it and there was the nest.

“The bird must have got in underneath the van and hopped up into the engine.”

Annie Varey, retail sales agent at Europcar, said: “It was obviously a very opportunistic little bird.

“Maybe it was attracted to the warmth of the engine compartment.

“We told them to leave it where it was. There’s no way we were going to move it.”

The RSPB said it had received a flood of recent calls about unorthodox nesting sites.

A spokeswoman said: “On the top of traffic lights, in hanging baskets, and inside the pockets of a pair of jeans drying on a washing line are among some of the more weird and wonderful locations.

“Although an engine compartment might not be an obvious place to nest, to the birds it probably feels, safe, sheltered and away from the elements.

“It’s lovely to hear that the Army personnel have left it alone, and hopefully they will be rewarded with some chicks flying around soon.

“It’s illegal to disturb a bird’s nest, so the RSPB would urge anyone else who might discover one to leave well alone too. Please avoid pruning hedges and bushes until later in the year when the young birds will have flown the nest.”

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