AN EGG-straordinary donation of potentially illegal birds’ eggs have been handed over to a zoo.

The collection of more than 100 specimens was delivered to Drusillas Park in Alfriston.

The rare bird eggs were delivered to the zoo last week by a couple who stumbled across them while clearing out the belongings of a deceased relative. The collection includes eggs which are more than a century old but it has been illegal to take the eggs of most wild birds since the Protection of Birds Act 1954 and anyone caught with an unlicensed collection can face serious charges.

So the couple handed them over to Drusillas which has a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora Permit, which allows it to exhibit such items for conservation and educational purposes.

The collection includes highly impressive specimens – including every type of egg from ostrich to puffin to barn owl, hawks and more.

James Woodward, head of education, at Drusillas said: “Two eggs in particular caught my attention. The first was a Brown Noddy egg from Morant Cays in Jamaica. The egg is dated 1902, making it 116 years old. All the eggs have been blown, which leaves a shell that can be preserved.

“The second was a sparrowhawk egg, dated from 1908, making it 100 years old. This is listed as having been recovered in Heathfield so just down the road from us. Of course it is completely illegal to take these eggs from the wild and under no circumstances should anyone attempt to remove eggs from a nest. But thanks to this donation we are now able to display the eggs for the public to see and learn about, particularly we will focus on why we must work to conserve each species.”