A PAIR of dove chicks, which were each the size of a two-pence piece, are alive thanks to the fast actions of a York family and Selby Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre.

The doves, which are just over a week old, were left orphaned before they were born after their mother was killed by a sparrow hawk – but Annette Pyrah, of Selby Wildlife, was called by a family in Copmanthorpe who had rescued the eggs.

“That family saved their lives really. One egg had already hatched and they brought them round to me where I put them in the incubator,” said Annette.

“It’s all about acting really, really quickly in situations like this.”

Despite initial worries that the second egg would not hatch, Annette said the second baby soon followed.

She said: “After a few hours it started to crack open and then there was a little beak.

“They are both doing absolutely wonderfully now.

“They haven’t opened their eyes yet, but they are quite naughty and full of character.”

News of the two hatchlings, who have been named Archie and Rosie after the sparse rose bush their original nest was built in, has spread quickly and people have sent small knitted nests all the way from Somerset after seeing the news on Twitter.

The birds will stay in the incubator until they get their feathers before moving into a wildlife cabin and then an aviary before eventually being released.

Annette said: “The wildlife cabin will be full of all sorts of babies. It is important now that we are approaching summer that people call me if they don’t know what to do.”

To find out more visit www.selbywildlife.co.uk or phone Annette on 07803180720.