Blackbird lays eggs in plastic tree in Redhill
A BOLD blackbird has taken up residence in a fake tree a few feet from a family's front door.
The McDonough family, of Linkfield Lane, Redhill, got an even greater surprise when the bird laid four eggs – which have now hatched into chicks – in their plastic bay tree.
The new lodger, who the family have christened Byrdie, seems completely unfazed by humans coming and going and the family plans to leave her in peace to raise her family.
"I don't know if she's a bit thick or thinks we can't see her sat there," said mum Michelle, 38.
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"I was very surprised because it is a fake tree. Now they have all hatched it is getting quite noisy.
"You can really see it all happening in stages, it is so open. It is like having a nature show on your doorstep."
The bird began building her nest three weeks ago, closely watched by Mrs McDonough, her husband William, and their three daughters Holly, 17, Alice, 16, and Jessie, 11.
Holly told the Mirror: "It is pretty cool. I say good morning every day when I walk past, and when my friends come round I tell them to be quiet.
"I think she feels safe there. The other day it was really windy, the trees were rocking and the bird was sat there quite happy."
Alice added: "It is something wild – that it would choose our tree is quite cool. It is a nice thought to have nature so close to our home."
Bird experts say the blackbird's behaviour is not uncommon.
Samantha Stokes, south east representative for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, said: "We do get reports of birds nesting in some quite unusual places. When they pick that spot they feel they are quite happy with the level of activity.
"Once it has nested there is nothing you can do to move it."