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"Omen" Jack's Halloween holiday

Matt Dillon with his pet jackdaw, Jack
Matt Dillon with his pet jackdaw, Jack

He's chirpy and chatty and enjoys a beer but don’t get too friendly - he might nick your car keys.

Described by his owner Matt Dillon as occasionally like "something out of the Omen", pet jackdaw Jack has lived in Wouldham since being found abandoned by his mother at a motorway service station lastyear.

But this week Mr Dillon, a lorry driver, was asking villagers in nearby Burham, Aylesford, Halling and Cuxton to remain vigilant after his pet went missing overnight between Sunday and Monday.

And he says that Jack - despite his mildly foreboding image - is actually friendly and should be happy to “chat” to anyone.

“If you find him, occupy him and make friends” said Mr Dillon “he’ll follow you in whatever you do - and then give me a call.”

Jack eats and drinks anything, including tea and beer, but Mr Dillon warned he did have some less sociable tendencies.

“If he comes into your house, keep him away from shiny objects and your mobile phone.

Anything’s fair game for Jack and he can be destructive; only recently he ripped the centre out of my £400 mobile phone.

“He doesn’t like the colour red, or baseball caps, and he will not let you grab him.”

Other birds need to be on the look-out too.

“He considers the area his territory” says Mr Dillon, who has often allowed Jack to fly free, “he chases off all the other birds; you see him dive-bombing and shrieking, he’s like something out of The Omen.”

If all this sounds rather apt for Halloween, it’s not quite yet time for Aylesford to call in the Friars for protection - Mr Dillon had these tips for anyone who finds him.

“He’s really friendly. Just tap on your shoulder and call him, or hold your arm out and click your fingers, he’ll fly up to you.

“He’s very chatty and getting to the stage where he can mimic speech - I say 'hello Jack’ and he’s starting to say that.”

And Mr Dillon does not believe Jack has simply made a bid for freedom.

“He’s bonded to his family here. Jackdaws bond for life. They see you as their family, he thinks we’re Jackdaws.

“When I found him he was just hopping around; he was fox food.”

If you see Jack call Mr Dillon on 07966 320119.

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