Sparrows removed from nests by workers in Norfolk
Roofing workers have taken 45 young house sparrows to an animal sanctuary, sparking a police inquiry.
When the workmen brought the birds to PACT Animal Sanctuary, in Hingham, last week, staff called police, the Eastern Daily Press reported.
"It is illegal to move young birds and eggs from nests as they are protected," a sanctuary spokesman said.
Police interviewed the staff involved at the sanctuary and are investigating if a crime has been committed.
Seven of the young birds have died since their arrival but experts are confident the other 38 will survive.
"We have a good survival rate," said Sarah Roberts, from PACT.
"These young birds are nowhere near being fledged but with the help of our dedicated wildlife team they will probably survive.
"Some of the birds had not even opened their eyes and most had not yet developed feathers."
Police were contacted on Thursday after reports numerous birds' nests had been damaged during the previous two days, a spokesman said.
"The nests contained 45 young house sparrows and three eggs, and are believed to have been removed from a property in Attleborough.
"Our investigation into the incident continues," the police spokesman added.