Four sparrow hawks were recovered in an early-morning raid by police and wildlife crime officers in Staffordshire.
Officers from Trent Valley Police and the National Wildlife Crime Unit swooped on an isolated house off Walsall Road, near Muckley Corner, between Lichfield and Brownhills and found the protected birds in cages.
The young birds were removed from the premises and are being cared for by the RSPCA.
During the operation a 36-year-old man from the Walsall Wood area was arrested and later released on bail pending further enquiries.
Andy McWilliam, investigative support officer for the national wildlife unit, said: “Unfortunately, this kind of offence is far too common and we carry out similar operations throughout the country.
“We hope this latest raid sends out a very strong message to anyone considering taking or harming protected birds.”