Four chicks, three Golden Polver and one Curlew were set free into their natural habitat on Tuesday, August 4 after they were suspected of being illegally snatched away from their nests and mothers in Yorkshire.
The birds were set fet in Hull countryside after eggs were found at a property in Huddersfield which were believed to have been stolen.
Officers were alerted to reports of a man acting suspiciously, who they suspected had taken eggs from wild birds’ nests across Yorkshire and Derbyshire, earlier this year.
Gamekeepers in Snailsdon, Ladycross and Woodhead Estates reported to South Yorkshire Police that the alleged thief was on their land again on April 30.
A 63-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of offences under Section 1 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, which legally protects the nests and eggs of wild birds.
Officers seized over 200 eggs alongside, associated equipment, books and taxidermy when searching the man’s property.
Police also recovered an incubator that contained seven unhatched eggs.Sheffield Rural and Wildlife Crime Officer PC Elizabeth Wilson removed the eggs and securely transported them to an incubator for safety.She said: “The eggs were not my usual passenger but I wrapped them up in cotton wool and tea towels and placed them on the heated seats to ensure they stayed warm, during the very tentative drive back to the station, until we could find them a home.“Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) assisted us during the warrant and arranged for Smiths Nursey in Thorngumbald to care for the eggs until they hatched.“The laws against the taking of or possessing wild birds’ eggs are there for a reason - to protect species from decline.
"We are committed to the robust prosecution of those who commit offences against protected wildlife and urge anyone with concerns to report them via 101.”The 63 year-old man remains released under investigation while further enquiries between South Yorkshire Police, the National Wildlife Crime Unit (NWCU) and RSPB continue.