A bird of prey found lying by the side of a road has been rescued by the RSPCA.

The red kite was unable to fly and struggling to breathe when a passer-by spotted it near Brazenhead Farm in Little Bardfield.

They contacted the RSPCA and managed to put the bird in a box before meeting animal collection officer Anna Glozier.

Ms Glozier said: “The kind member of the public contained the bird and as I was quite far away they came to meet me in the car at a halfway point on the M11.

“I was very grateful they were able to do this as it meant the bird could get the treatment it needed much quicker.

“During my 27 years on the job, I’ve never picked up a red kite in Essex before and when I took the bird to South Essex Wildlife Hospital, they said they rarely saw them in this area as well.”

South Essex Wildlife Hospital is now taking care of the bird, which appears to have a fractured breast bone and is on a course of antibiotics for suspected trichomoniasis – a parasite which causes lesions in the throat.

Hospital founder and manager Sue Schwar said: “The very beautiful but extremely weak red kite was delivered by the RSPCA at the weekend.

“It seemed like the bird was unable to breath very well and after removing what it had last eaten from its throat we could see on the x-ray there were lots of debris and swelling.

“We are doing everything we can for him.

“He’s responding to treatment and we are quite pleased with the progress he is making.”

The red kite is now able to stand and is looking much brighter.

Sue hopes he will pull through and be released in the next few weeks.

If you see an injured wild animal contact RSPCA on 0300 1234 999.