A PARROT owner is spitting feathers with her exotic pet who is pouring cold water over her love life – by attacking male suitors.
Flustered Marie Friel, 45, said the bad-tempered bird keeps sticking its beak into her relationship by chasing partner Kevin around the house and dive-bombing male guests.
The only respite the mother-of-three has enjoyed from the aggressive animal’s antics since buying him two months ago was when he went missing for four days.
Named Jackson, the two-year-old African Grey Timneh not only bullies frightened boyfriends, but also turns the air blue with his potty-mouthed outbursts.
The bird’s bid for freedom ended in a Livingston garden where he was scooped up by Scottish SPCA staff aghast at his foul language.
But it is at his Deans home where Jackson routinely gets his owner into a flap by tormenting male visitors – and in particular her partner.
“I have a boyfriend but it’s on and off,” she said. “As soon as he comes into the house we have to put Jackson in the cage or else he starts challenging him. Kevin’s six-foot tall and was running round the living room with Jackson flying after him one day until he bit him on the cheek.
“He comes between me and any man that enters in the house, including all my son’s friends. Parrots also live for about 25 years so he’ll probably outlive me. He makes my love life difficult.”
But it’s not just Kevin who gets the rough treatment, Jackson has drawn blood from at least two other men brave enough to relax in his roost.
“He bit my brother’s ear quite badly and in a really sneaky way,” said Marie. “Jackson inched along the couch very quietly and didn’t show any signs of aggression. He slowly climbed up my brother’s arm to his shoulder and, without warning, took a chunk out of his ear.
“He’s a danger to all men – perhaps he’s a good judge of character – he pretty much has to be locked up whenever men are around.”
And, bizarrely, the plucky polly has a eye for the fairer sex, having been branded a “ladies’ bird” in tribute to his irresistible wooing technique.
Ms Friel said: “He’s a real charmer with the ladies. He never has a problem with them and sometimes rubs his beak against their face looking for attention. He’s very flirtacious and starts cooing, and then he wants you to stroke his claws.
“He brings out his wing on to your hand and as if he’s saying ‘look how handsome I am’.”
Parrot expert Denise Davidson, owner of Dofos Pet Shop on London Road, said it was not uncommon for parrots to protect their owner and said it was likely Jackson was reared by a woman.
“If parrots are hand-reared it should be by a couple so they don’t get a preference for males or females. Both should feed him because that way they will have an affinity with both.”
Ms Davidson said she sympathised with Marie’s plight, having experienced a similar saga with her ex-partner. She said: “I bought a parrot for my ex-husband as a wedding present but the parrot hated him and it would run across the cage to nip him.”