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Last Updated: Monday, 16 May, 2005, 19:15 GMT 20:15 UK
Special delivery seals letter box
Letter box notice
The starlings have nested in the letter box in previous years
The Royal Mail has sealed a postbox in Essex after a family of starlings made their home there.

Mail officials have asked people in Frinton not to post letters in the pillar box until the birds leave.

The starlings have nested in the pillar box near the sea front several times in recent years and are expected to leave within the next few weeks.

The Royal Mail's Chris Fountain said: "We normally get signs such as bits of straw, so we know they're nesting."

"As soon as I know what is happening I close the box off and put the notice up to let people know," he added.

The RSPB's Chris Durdin said it was very unusual for starlings to choose a letterbox for a nest.

"They (starlings) normally nest in holes in trees, buildings or cliffs, but there are not many of those in the Frinton area.

"To nest so close to the ground is really very strange, but plainly a pair has found it very suitable and they keep coming back because they have been successful in the past," he added.

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