THIEVES have stolen 50 canaries from an elderly woman’s aviary – just days after her home was targeted in a separate burglary.

The birds, which are worth £30 each and include six rare white canaries, were stolen using a small hand net at the home, in Botley Road, Horton Heath.

The 83-year-old victim, Audrey Birch, has been left “shocked” by the break-in which happened just ten days after her home was ransacked for items of jewellery.

In the first break-in, thieves left a tap running and threw water across the conservatory as they made off with gold watches and a gold ring with diamond stones.

Overnight on Sunday, they forced a padlock off to reach the aviary in the garden before stealing the collection of canaries.

Five years ago, thieves stole around 30 birds from her son’s home next door.

Police say the creatures are not easily identifiable but that they were probably stolen to order or to be sold within the tropical bird industry.