Lonely hearts parrot's love shock

THE path of true love rarely runs smooth - particularly if you are a parrot. And the mating game has proved especially exasperating for Belton bird breeder Charles Bryanton.

THE path of true love rarely runs smooth - particularly if you are a parrot. And the mating game has proved especially exasperating for Belton bird breeder Charles Bryanton.

What Mr Bryanton thought were potential female partners for his two African Grey parrots turned out not to be the fairer sex.

Now the 66-year-old finds himself with four male birds on his hands and a distinct lack of romance in the air.

Earlier this year, the Mercury reported how Mr Bryanton put out a lonely hearts appeal for Holly and Lilly, who were also originally thought to be female.


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He found two potential partners Max and Dilly, but DNA tests have since revealed the pair to be male too.

So instead of a cosy love nest it is very much separate perches for the four feathered friends.

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Mr Bryanton said: “I sent three feathers away from both birds to be tested and was very surprised and disappointed at the result.

“I thought if would be nice for Holly and Lilly to find a partner and have some chicks.

“It's not possible to tell the sex of parrots just by looking at them - the male and female birds do not have any distinguishing features.

“Now I would like to organise an exchange and swap Dilly and Holly for two genuine female birds.

“A very kind old gentleman gave me Max because he wasn't able to look after him so I don't want to let him go.

“African Greys are extremely intelligent birds who pick up a lot of words from people and certainly have the gift of the gab.”

In the meantime the retired wrought iron merchant is hoping the parrots keep their peckers up while practising their chat-up lines.

African Greys mate for life and can live between 80 and 120 years, with females breeding between the ages of four and 20.

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