JACKDAWS may be well-known thieves but the only thing Diggle’s newest celebrity is guilty of is stealing the hearts of the locals!
Gary the Jackdaw was rescued and hand-reared by his owner Gemma Dumbill, who lives in the village, after the rest of his family were tragically killed.
Several attempts to release him back into the wild nosedived when the young bird refused to leave and now he is living his best life at on Red Lane Farm.
Gemma said: “Gary’s about seven months old now.
His parents unfortunately drowned in the pond behind the barn and we’re not quite sure how they got into difficulty.
“Sadly, we didn’t discover their nest until it was too late but strangely we found Gary on the opposite side of the barn to the rest of the chicks.
“We took him in and looked after him, made sure he was fed and was kept warm. I suppose that’s how we came to have such a close bond.”
Gary spends most of his time at home in a specially constructed aviary but at weekend he’s free to stretch his wings and explore his local area.
His friendly, inquisitive and trusting nature has earned him a loyal Facebook following, with people from as far away as America and Australia taking an interest in his adventures.
Gemma added: “Gary is very fond of visiting the local school, so much so that he started to land in the classrooms while school was in session!
“So, we have to keep in his aviary during the week to keep him out of trouble but at weekend he’s free to roam to his heart’s content.“He is not shy. He just loves meeting people and won’t hesitate to land on complete strangers if it means a chance to say hello and make friends.
“We set up a Facebook page just to make people aware of him because it can be unnerving to some when he lands on their shoulder out of the blue.
“We never expected him to get so much attention! He loves it, and as people become more aware of him, they tag us in photos so we can see where he’s been.
“To our knowledge, he’s been all over Diggle, Uppermill and I think Dobcross too. He’s a very special bird and we love him very much.”
You can keep up with Gary the Jackdaw’s adventures on his official Facebook Page: