The RSPCA is caring for a tiny swallow that was in a nest which was being kicked around by some children.
The swallow, which weighs just 17 grams, was discovered on Monday by a concerned member of the public who had seen a group of children kicking a nest along a path in Norfolk.
They thought the nest, which was found in the Narborough area, was just some rubbish, but when they looked closer they discovered three dead swallows in the nest and one barely alive.
They took the bird to the RSPCA East Winch Wildlife Centre, where he is currently being cared for.
He has been checked over by a vet and has been given an oral rehydration solution and is now recovering in a quiet incubator.
Alison Charles, centre manager at East Winch Wildlife Centre, said: “We were horrified when we heard what had happened to this swallow.
“Why anyone would think it was fun to kick a bird’s nest with youngsters still in it is just wrong.
“I can’t believe that they would not have noticed the birds within the nest, and it’s just truly appalling that youngsters would treat wild birds in this way.
“Swallows nest under roofs and on ledges and the nests are made of mud, so they can dry out in this exceptionally dry weather, but most caring people would take the time to check if there was any youngsters in it, not kick it around like a football.
“We would like to thank the concerned member of public who took the time to bring the swallow to us. Thankfully there are still lots of people out there who do really care for animals.
“We are doing all we can to help this poor bird, at this stage we are not sure if he will pull through, but we try our very best.”
Anyone with information can contact the RSPCA Cruelty Line on 0300 123 4999.