A bird rescue charity has said that it is ‘lost for words’ following a series of attacks on swans across Berkshire.

Swan Support, in Datchet, which supports injured birds, has received a worrying number of calls from both RSPCA and local police regarding birds that have been injured by catapults and air rifles.

On December 23, the team at Swan Support was called to the Thames at Staines where they were alerted to an injured swan which was believed to have been shot.

During their visit to examine the bird, they discovered four further swans which appeared to be injured and were taken to the Swan Support sanctuary for help.

The attack is believed to have happened on the evening of December 22 with a catapult or air rifle.

An update from the charity has confirmed that after treatment and recovery over the festive period, the swans are well on their way to recovery.

Swan support have announced that this is the fourth incident of bird cruelty that has been reported in December.

The charity posted on their Facebook: “We picked up a cygnet in Windsor with a ball bearing under his beak, a swan was shot dead on the Grand Union canal and the RSPCA brought a swan to us that had been shot with an air rifle (that has since recovered).

“Like many, we are honestly lost for words and can’t even begin to comprehend why people do these sorts of things!”

The owner of the charity, Wendy Hermon is a huge campaigner for stronger penalties to deter wildlife crime across the UK.

They created their petition last year after several youths broke into their premises in March 2023 and fired catapults torturing the swans in their care for 20 minutes.

The charity currently works with local police services and animal charities to ensure justice and the safety of swans and other wildlife.