A BIRD sanctuary has been inundated with 'rescued' birds...that did not need rescuing.

Kirkleatham Owl Centre, near Redcar, has had baby tawny owls, blackbirds, crows, starlings, blue tits, ducks and even woodpeckers who appeared to be orphaned handed in by the public in recent weeks.

But staff at the centre have stressed that most of the birds were in fact fledglings trying to make their own way in the world and did not actually need help.

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Craig Wesson, centre manager, said: ''If a baby bird is on the ground and does not appear to be injured, our advice is leave well alone. Mam and dad will still feed and care for it until it can fly. Many birds species when they fledge, or first leave the nest, spend time on the ground until they become stronger and more competent flyers.

"Tawny owls especially leave the nest before they can fly, often ending up on the ground looking very vulnerable, but their parents will feed them each night and after a few days they start clambering back up into the trees.''

Many of the young birds brought into the centre have already returned to the wild. Mr Wesson explained that blackbirds and blue tits look after themselves within a couple of weeks of fledging but for the young tawny owls, of which the centre has six at the moment, will take a few months longer.

The centre has advice on baby birds & wildlife causalities on its website & Facebook pages and staff at the centre are happy for people to give them a call for advice.

Visit kirkleathamowlcentre.org.uk , facebook/kirkleathamowls or call 01642-480512.