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Last Updated: Friday August 20 2010 16:17 GMT

Daredevil bird egg thief jailed

Falcon chicks rescued from thief

A man who went to extreme lengths to steal valuable bird's eggs has been sent to jail for 30 months.

Jeffrey Lendrum, 48, was caught with 14 rare peregrine falcon eggs strapped to his body and in his socks.

He had attached them to his body to keep them warm so the baby birds didn't die. Mr Lendrum had stolen the eggs from their mother's nest in Wales.

In the past, he has admitted abseiling off a cliff, and dangling from a helicopter, to steal rare eggs.

Luckily, 11 of the chicks survived and were successfully hatched and released back into the wild.

Some birds eggs are worth a lot of money and people steal them to sell on illegally. These peregrine falcon eggs were worth £70,000.

Evidence showed Mr Lendrum, from Towcester, Northants, was going to sell the eggs to a wealthy person in Dubai, where flying falcons is a big sport which makes lots of money.

Protected

Falcon facts
Peregrines are often silent, but - when alarmed - they make a chattering noise
They have a body length of 34-50cm
Peregrines mostly eat other birds, but they occasionally hunt bats, rats, voles and rabbits

He was caught when a cleaner spotted him behaving suspiciously at Birmingham International Airport in May 2010.

Peregrine falcons are a protected species in the UK as there are only 1,400 pairs of them breeding.

The judge who jailed Mr Lendrum said that his crimes were serious and that peregrine falcons "enhance the attraction of the countryside to all".