Meet miraculous cardigan-wearing parrot Charlie who, after being rescued from a home where he was almost starved to death, has been nursed back to health by Rebecca Blagg, of Eastwood.
The bird was so neglected he had plucked his own feathers out in a bid to eat.
Rebecca waited and waited for his feathers to grow back, but when they didn’t, she decided to knit him a woollen cardigan to stop him from shivering and to keep him warm.
But now – despite being recovered – Charlie refuses to have his cardi taken off, and flaps his wings, shouts and stamps his feet - literally - if anybody tries to disrobe him.
Rebecca, of Wood Street, said: “He goes mad. He gets very, very agitated.
“The first summer after we had him it was red hot and I thought he was going to melt with his woolly on. I took it off and he started to go bonkers. I put it back on and he just calmed down straight away!
“He went in a real grump, so after a while we just gave up trying. It’s like his comfort blanket,” she added.
Charlie now has five cardigans – a blue one, an orange one, a green one, a white one, and his favourite original yellow one, which he preens to get the bobbles off!
Rebecca, 47, is an area co-ordinator for Safe Haven, a parrot rescue centre, and took Charlie in when she heard about him.
A self-confessed ‘tough person’, she said she broke down in tears when she saw him without his feathers.
“I am quite tough but when I saw him I burst into tears,” said Rebecca. “It was so sad. The worse abuse case I’ve seen.
“He had plucked himself. He had been eating his feathers to survive. He was at death’s door.
“I just wanted to give him a chance.”
Rebecca took Charlie home and said he was so sad and depressed he didn’t move, and so weak he couldn’t sit on a perch without falling off.
“He was extremely shut down,” added Rebecca. “He was very depressed. He wouldn’t move or do anything, he just sat there.
“We had to feed him with a spoon because he couldn’t eat on his own and he couldn’t even perch because he was too weak. He just fell off.
“He was black and blue from falling off with his previous owner,” she added.
So Rebecca built Charlie a platform with ramps leading up to it to build his strength, which is when his personality started to come out, she said.
Charlie now supports the same football team as Rebecca’s husband, shouting ‘come on Derby’ when they play, and has found a soulmate in the couple’ son, Dominic, who he says ‘night night’ to each evening.
Rebecca finds homes for parrots across the county, and has taken on 16 herself.
She also has another 100 other rescue birds in her garden.
If anybody has fruit or vegetables they wish donate to help Rebecca feed Charlie and her other birds they can ring her on 01773 770 891.