Car owners on Orkney have been warned to check under their bonnets regularly after a spate of fires caused by birds nesting in vehicle engine compartments.
There have been at least three car blazes over the past few weeks which have
been caused by nests. Because of the lack of trees, birds on Orkney lay their eggs in any dry space they can find.
In the latest incident, a car in St Margaret's Hope was completely destroyed by
a fire caused by a nest built by a starling over the space of an evening. Kim Patching, the owner of the car, said that it would not start and then in a
matter of minutes smoke and flames emerged from under the bonnet.
Johnathan Porterfield discovered a starling's nest complete with four eggs in his electric vehicle but has
decided to leave it until the birds hatch out and leave. Mr Porterfield, who is
a dealer specialising in electric vehicles on the islands, said he would be
using another car until the birds were fledged.