A remarkable bird called Beep is spreading smiles all over a Milton Keynes town because of his need for love and cuddles.
The people-loving white dove spends his days flying into homes when he can spot open doors or window. He then lands on residents’ heads to chirrup lovingly in their ears.
His antics have caused a stir on Facebook, with numerous people posting photos as he pops in to pass the time of day with them.
Beep was rescued as a tiny baby in April by Newport Pagnell’s Willow Vets vet nurse Bethan Lovvorn. A woman was having solar panels fitted and the work dislodged a nest on her roof, causing poor Beep to fall onto the ground.
"The woman brought him into the surgery to see if we could help. He was only about seven to 10 days old and he was bruised all over. He was still bald so I thought he was a pigeon until his white feathers started to grow,” said Bethan, who is 23.
"I actually didn’t think he would make it but I wanted to do everything I could, so I took him home with me.”
At her Newport Pagnell home, Bethan lovingly fed the tiny creature every two hours, day and night, with specialist food.
"Because he needed feeding so frequently, I had to take him everywhere I went – to work, to the pub, out to dinner…I got a little rodent carrier to carry him around in. Later, as he became bigger, he progressed to a cat carrier.
"I called him Beep because he was so noisy. He’d screech every time anyone walked into the room because he wanted attention from them.”
Bethan’s plan was to release the bird into the wild as soon as he was strong enough. But sociable Beep had other ideas.
"I’d take him into the garden and open his cage but he refused to move. He could fly, but he just didn’t want to join the other birds… It’s as though he thinks he’s a human rather than a bird,” said Bethan.
The pair settled into a routine where Beep explored the garden during the day, but flew into the home as soon as Bethan returned from work and settled to sleep on her windowsill, right next to her bedroom, at night.
Even when Bethan got a Labrador puppy, Beep was not deterred and became best friends with the dog in no time.
The bird’s taste for exploring began when Bethan went on holiday earlier this month. Faced with no human company, Beep spread his wings and started flying into houses all over Newport Pagnell.
At first people on the town’s Facebook page, the Newport Pagnell ‘Chit Chat’ Group, were aghast, reporting that a white bird had flown into their kitchen and landed on their head.
But soon Beep’s identity was revealed and, as his visits continued to more and more homes, he rapidly become a feathered celebrity, with his circle of human friends growing as fast as his fame.
"He’s a superstar. He should have his own Facebook page,” said one resident. “Everybody loves Beep – he’s brought a smile to the entire town. Everywhere should have a Beep to cheer people up.”