A BIRD that became a real-life Kes is making itself at home after befriending a boy who passes it on his way to school.
As reported in the Echo, the friendly jackdaw started landing on 10-year-old Emmanuel Adams’ shoulder as he walked to class.
But now his feathered friend, who he has named Jack, has started coming into his house in Thornhill, Sunderland, after accompanying him home from St Mary’s RC Primary School.
Just like the 1969 film Kes, where a northern schoolboy tames and befriends a wild kestrel, the bird and the boy have become best friends.
And since Tuesday the curious creature has been living with the Adams family, alongside three dogs, four fish and Emmanuel’s sisters, Rebecca, 16, Alexi, 11, and Androniki, nine.
Since December, the bird had menaced other pupils at the school, divebombing children at break-times.
But the jackdaw has taken a shine to Emmanuel who says the bird is “not a bully”.
Emmanuel’s mother, Carolyn, 46, a full-time mum, said: “The bird took an instant liking to Emmanuel. He would approach him as he walked to school.
“He picked him out from the other schoolkids.
“One day he just sat on Emmanuel’s arm and from then on he would go to school with the bird perched on his arm or shoulder.
“On Tuesday it wouldn’t leave his arm and he walked straight into the house with it. It seems to have settled here and it sits and lets Emmanuel stroke it.”
She added: “Emmanuel has been sat with Jack on his shoulder watching telly and while he had his revision work on his lap, Jack was trying to turn the pages.
“I’ve got some wild bird feed and I’ve read online that they’re omnivorous so I gave him some of our mince and pasta last night. I’ve given him fruit too.
“I do feel bad about having a wild bird in the house but I’ve been researching how to look after him properly.
“I’ve been in touch with a society that protects wild birds, so I’m waiting for advice from them because I want to do what’s best by the bird.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with him yet. If I am advised to let him go then I will.
“Emmanuel will be devastated to be parted from him, but I want what’s best for the bird.
“And if the bird wants to be with Emmanuel then how can that be a bad thing?”
Emmanuel said: “Any time I walk to school or come back, it goes on my arm. It’s been happening since January and last week it followed me all the way home and into the house.
“I’ve called it Jack if it’s a boy and Jackie if it’s a girl.”
Parents and pupils complained of being tormented by Jack when it first began appearing at the primary school in early December.
Children were so terrified that teachers shortened playtimes and kept children inside to prevent further attacks.
Headteacher Sean Brown, 55, said: “The bird hasn’t hurt or injured anybody, but it has unsettled some pupils.
“We have sometimes kept pupils in if we have seen the bird and, on a couple of occasions, shortened breaktimes.”
A bird-scaring device had been provided by Sunderland City Council, which imitates a distress call.
Carolyn said: “I don’t know why the bird is so friendly with Emmanuel but it’s lovely. Maybe it used to be a pet and it’s been hand-reared by another little boy.”