Injured cuckoo finds freedom in Italy
An injured cuckoo flown to Italy by plane to "catch up" on its migration after treatment has been successfully released to join its fellow birds.
The rare bird was released at a wetland centre in Turin where three cuckoos fitted with satellite tags in the UK were spotted.
Veterinary nurse Lucy Kells, from the Leatherhead Wildlife Aid Foundation, carried the bird on the British Airways 737, said it was a "goose bump moment".
The cuckoo, named Idemili after a Nigerian goddess, took a month to recover from serious head and wing injuries after other birds attacked it in Tolworth.
Ms Kells said: "The release went beautifully, it was a really amazing day.
"She sat on my hand for ages then flew off straight to a big tree. When we wandered over we saw it was covered in caterpillars.
"She then called for the first time. We'd had her in a month and she never made a sound, it was one of those really emotional, unrealistic moments.
"It was a goose bump moment, it was an amazing feeling. I was crying my eyes out."
Cuckoos are brood parasites, meaning they lay eggs in the nests of dunnocks, reed warblers and meadow pipits.
Once hatched, the chick ejects the legitimate occupants and then gets fed by its unsuspecting foster parents.