Donal Norton and his new friend

Seagull refuses to budge from his rescuer's head

Louise Walsh

An animal lover who rescued an injured seagull was left with a feathered friend for life when the bird refused to get off his head.

Donal Norton, from Navan, Co. Meath had to ring Birdwatch Ireland for advice after spending three hours trying to get the bird to budge from his barnet.

Every time he tried to leave his shed, the seagull who he affectionately called 'Stephen Segal' pecked at his head.

"I think the seagull swooped down to eat the remnants of a snack box when he was hit by a passing car outside my house on Saturday afternoon.

"A lady stopped to help him but she was a bit afraid of the bird so she called to me to help.  I nursed him for a bit and he started to come around and sat in my hands.

"I put him in a box and hung around with the bird for a half an hour and suddenly he jumped out of the box onto my shoulder and then onto my head, where it stayed for over three hours.

"Every time I tried to leave my shed, it started pecking my head. 

Donal Norton aka The Bird Man of Navan.

"I had to stay in the shed, freezing cold with him on my head for that length of time. You should see the state of the back of my jacket, which is white-washed  It must be very lucky," he laughed

"I eventually rang Birdwatch and they told me his behaviour was a symptom of concussion so they told me how to coax him onto the roof of my jeep and then I quickly picked him up and popped him into a box."

Donal even gave Stephen some company with rubber ducks but reckons the bird needs medical aid.

"It seems that he can't fly for some reason.  I've left him with water and food and I'm waiting for a lady from Birdwatch to contact me"

Musician Donal, who is now being dubbed as the 'birdman of Navan' laughed as he spotted an irony in the whole situation

"There are people now likening me to the birdman of Alcatraz and even the birdman from Worzel Gummidge. It's quite funny really.

"I worked with David Hasselhoff when he was in Baywatch so I've gone from Baywatch to Birdwatch ".