A bird expert is to launch a rescue bid to save a parrot on the loose.

Sheffield parrot enthusiast Oliver Jackson heard about Ozzie the African grey's ex-ploits in Otley while chatting about birds in an American-based internet chatroom.

The discussion forum had a link to the Telegraph & Argus's website - www.thetele graphandargus.co.uk - which told how the escaped parrot had been ruffling feathers since he first flew into Otley three months ago.

Latest sightings reported Ozzie seeking sanctuary in the belltower of the United Ref-ormed church in Bridge Street with two friends - a Rosella parakeet and an Amazonian parrot. The trio are regularly spotted on the church tower cheekily whistling at surprised passers-by.

Ozzie has a regular perch above shops in the marketplace too. He even wolf-whistled at Princess Anne on a recent royal visit.

And vicar at the Bridge Street Church, the Reverend Tony Gardiner, said Ozzie had his congregation falling about the aisles during one Sunday service when he kept wolf-whistling through evening prayers.

Despite several attempts to lure Ozzie, including efforts by local police, he has kept his distance. Now Mr Jackson, a graphic designer, is to launch his own rescue mission.

He is a voluntary co-ordinator for the Birdline UK charity which rescues birds, re-homes them to foster carers and offers advice for owners.

He plans to do a survey first to plot Ozzie's movements so he knows how to find him.

Then he will try to coax him down with a parrot-popular diet of succulent sunflower seeds, vitamin-rich pomegranates, apples and other goodies.

He will set a trail of sunflower seeds into his waiting parrot-friendly transporter and lie in wait for Ozzie. If successful he will take Ozzie back to Sheffield where he will be quarantined in a Birdline UK safehouse to make sure he has not picked up any diseases from mixing with feral pigeons. Then the charity will try to locate his real owner or foster him to a good home.

If the seed trail fails, Mr Jackson said with the vicar's permission he would try to climb the belltower armed with just a towel to catch Ozzie unawares.

The last resort would be to draw up a rota of local people happy to feed Ozzie the specific diet he needs to keep healthy and ward off the winter chills.

Mr Jackson said: "When I read online about Ozzie I knew I had to do something to help the poor chap.

"If he's an escaped pet he won't be so hot at foraging for his own food.

"He'll be living off kebab and chips which isn't good for humans, never mind birds. He needs a proper diet if he's to survive."

Mr Jackson is also planning to bring one of his own female parrots to work her feminine wiles on Ozzie.

"That's assuming he is a bloke," he said.

e-mail: kathie.griffiths@bradford.newsquest.co.uk