An orphaned wild bird who was hand-reared by a woman who found him when he fell out of his nest has become so human-friendly that he’s ended up a danger to himself.
Vikkie Kenward, 30, adopted the little bird after finding him as a tiny chick sprawled on the roadside last year near her home in Billingshurst.
And now - after becoming used to such creature comforts as watching TV, car rides and going shopping - Vikkie’s little feathered friend has had his wings clipped.
Instead of flying free out of the window at Vikkie’s home, the bird - named Fagin - has had to be confined to a garden enclosure - although he still has the run of the house when he’s indoors with Vikkie.
She said: “Unfortunately, he can no longer be allowed to fly free. After having one person try to steal him, and others threaten to hurt and even kill him, he is now registered as wild disabled.”
Although Fagin had become used to flying in and out of windows at Vikkie’s home, sadly neighbours were not so keen on having unscheduled ‘visits’.
“But he is very happy to be with me, and I’m happy with him being the massive part of my life, that he is,” said Vikkie, who has now moved to Cranleigh. “It really wouldn’t be the same without him.”
In fact, Fagin has refused to leave Vikkie’s side since she first rescued him, feeding him every 15 minutes round the clock when he was little. He perches on her shoulder when she does her hair, watches over the pots in the kitchen when she cooks and ‘helps’ with the washing up.
And he even gets on well with Vikkie’s pet dog Inca - “although Fagin does get jealous when Inca comes to me for some attention.”
At first Vikkie thought Fagin was a crow, but after one escapade when he ended up at Horsham Bus Station and was rescued by a corvid expert, Vikkie learned that he is, in fact, a rook. “But, he’s still my baby,” said Vikkie.
“He has lost the feathers from his beak - or as I put it, his disguise as a crow - and now as a juvenile, has the pale grey skin around his beak which all rooks develop around his age.”