A woman has revealed how a bird lived in her hair for three months after being abandoned by its flock.
In 2013, Hannah Bourne-Taylor and her boyfriend, Robin, moved from their home in London to start a new life in Ghana.
But unable to work due to her visa, the photographer says she turned to nature and began to ‘learn the routines of local birds’.
Following a ‘particularly bad thunderstorm’ in 2018, Hannah formed an especially close bond with one little ‘fledgling finch’ after it lost its way.
Writing about her incredible and pretty bizarre story in The Guardian, she said: “He was abandoned by his flock, his nest blown from the mango tree.
“His eyes were tightly shut and he was shuddering, too young to survive alone. I placed him in a cardboard box with tea towels, mimicking a nest, and stayed up all night, researching how to care for him.
“I spoke to an expert who said it would take 12 weeks to prepare him for the wild.”
So Hannah got to working caring for the little guy, feeding him termites and watching as he fell asleep in her hand.
She went on: “As far as he was concerned, I was his mother. For the next 84 days, the fledgling lived on me. We became inseparable.
“He would fly alongside me, or cling to me as I went from room to room in the house, while we walked the grasslands or when I drove. He’d rest in my hand.
“As he learned to fly, he’d make short flights from my hand, to my shoulder, to my head, then abseil down my waist-length hair to rest again.
“Each day, he made little ‘nests’ in my hair, on the groove of my collarbone, which filled me with awe.
“He’d tuck himself under a curtain of hairand gather individual strands with his beak, sculpting them into a round of woven locks, resembling a small nest, then settling inside.
“He would allow it to unravel when he was done and start again the next day.”
Eventually, the finch’s flock returned to the area, and after he had built up enough strength, Hannah decided that she felt it was time to let him spread his wings.
During a Christmas break in England, Hannah told Robin to let him go.
Upon returning, Hannah, who now lives in Oxfordshire, said: “I’d watch out for him when the finches flew past. Every now and then, one would hang back, on a branch, and stare at me. I still cry when I think of him.
“Raising him taught me how to live in the present and changed me for ever.”
Hannah has since written about her time in Ghana in her new book, ‘Fledgling’.