A lonely and confused male flamingo has caused a stir at a Gloucestershire nature reserve by trying to incubate a pebble

Andy, an Andean flamingo, has spent two weeks trying to incubate the pebble he thinks is an egg at the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust in Slimbridge.

Wardens there first thought the 40-year-old bird had injured himself, says BBC News Online.

Nigel Jarrett, a bird nesting expert, said: "The birds are very attentive and do make excellent fathers, but this is above and beyond the call of duty."

Mr Jarrett eventually replaced the pebble with a wooden replica of a flamingo egg. Two weeks on, Andy is still there, leaving the "egg" for only an hour a day when he goes to feed.

Mr Jarrett said: "We let Andy sit on the replica in case a female flamingo for some reason rejected her own egg. We could have then placed the rejected egg under Andy for him to incubate as an alternative parent."

Mr Jarrett believes Andy's broodiness is down to his body being full of hormones at the end of the breeding season.

"He doesn't seem to have a mate. It's possible that he did have a partner and for some reason their egg didn't survive as they can be snatched by gulls and crows.


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