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Man takes in abandoned bird called Russell Crow and now it thinks it’s his boss

A man who adopted an abandoned baby rook and nursed it back to health says it now rules the roost.

Lee Calvert, 46, found the tiny helpless bird on the pavement near his home and saved its life with round-the-clock care.

The affectionate bird, who Lee named Russell Crow, loves to nibble its owner’s ears and give him a cuddle.

But it can be bolshy, thinking it is boss and demanding to perch on top of Lee’s head.

The unusual pet steals food from its owner’s plate, hides pens and gets jealous of Lee’s bulldogs Chunk and Yogi.

The cheeky corvid has a talent for impersonations and can bark at the dogs, as well as mimic coughs, police sirens, duck quacks and even laughter.

Boatbuilder Lee, of Weymouth, Dorset, found the hatchling last March.

He said: “People call me Doctor Doolittle. I had to feed him every twenty minutes, morning till night.

“I cradled him on my chest to keep him warm with his food next to me.”

He spends £20 a week on Russell’s diet of mealworms, lamb’s heart, spinach, nuts and crushed vitamin tablets.

While he says he and the bird “have a love-hate relationship”, he cites Russell with keeping him going through lockdown.

He said: “I suffer with my mental health but looking after him takes up all my time, not giving my brain time to overthink things.”