A man who heard noises in his chimney for five days discovered the culprit - a tawny owl, writes Ollie Buckley.

An RSPCA officer was called to free the tawny owl after the homeowners heard sounds coming from their fireplace.

After spotting a feathered wing inside they contacted the animal welfare charity to help free the distressed bird.

The tawny owl in the chimney

The tawny owl in the chimney

The owl was freed from the chimney at the home in Bath, Somerset on Tuesday (February 23) by animal rescue officer Dean Wilkins.

Dean, wearing PPE and following social distancing guidance, went to the home and managed to catch the owl by carefully taking apart the fireplace before catching the bird, then taking him to safety.

He said: "The owl was trapped inside the flue of the wood burner and wouldn’t have been rescued if the homeowners hadn't heard scratching and spotted his feathers.

"They’d been hearing noises for five days.

"The only way I could get him out was very delicately, aware that the slightest error could have caused an injury.

"He looked a little worse for wear after his ordeal but thankfully he was fine.

"He’ll now be taken to RSPCA West Hatch Wildlife Centre Once he’s strong enough he’ll be released back into the wild."

The RSPCA advises fitting a special chimney cowl or a wire mesh guard to prevent birds from flying or falling down the chimney.