A blue tit has chosen a very warm, if slightly unusual place to hatch her chicks – a wall-mounted ashtray.
A mechanic was about to drop his burning butt in the bin at the ATS garage in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, when he heard “angry” chirping.
Inside, staff found eight eggs.
They have put notices on the ashtray to protect the nest. Manager Jamie Eaton said he also hoped it would deter staff from smoking on the site.
His colleague who found the nest “had a bit of a shock – he was pleasantly surprised, and glad he didn’t damage any eggs”, said Mr Eaton.
“We’re all parents here as well, so our maternal instincts kicked in.”
He said they had seen the mother bird going in and out of the ashtray.
“She’s a bit aggressive – she kicks and flaps her feathers out really hard.
“Whenever you go near her you can hear the noise inside.”
Mr Eaton said the RSPB had advised staff to leave the nest alone.
“We’ve boarded it up – I’ve told my team it’s an incentive to stop smoking.”