A TALKATIVE parrot which has entertained a hotel's guests for more than a decade has flown the nest.

The blue-fronted Amazon parrot, called Albert - even though it is female - has made hundreds of friends all around the world during its 16 years at Walworth Castle, near Darlington.

Every birthday, the parrot received hundreds of cards, as well as Christmas greetings from as far away as Australia and the US.

Albert had an e-mail address to correspond with fans - and a link on the BBC website offered more information on the famous bird.

It was only discovered that Albert was female three years ago, but it was decided to keep the name Albert to avoid confusing fans.

But now, sadly, Albert's reign at the 12th Century castle has ended after its original owner, Anita Culley, decided to reclaim her bird.

Castle owner Chris Swain, who bought Walworth from Mrs Culley, said: "Albert was listed in the fixtures and fittings of the hotel on the understanding that if the Culleys ever wanted her back, they could have her.

"So when Anita rang, we had to hand Albert over.

"We are missing her a lot and I know our guests will be upset when they hear what has happened."

Amazon parrots can live for up to 40 years and Mr Swaine believes Albert was about 20 when she was taken to its new home.

To try to fill the void left by Albert's departure, Mr Swain and his wife, Rachel, are looking for another feathered friend.

Mr Swain said: "Ideally, we would like an Amazon parrot, like Albert. We would love a young bird that the staff and visitors can train and build up a rapport with.

"I would love to hear from anyone who knows where we can get a friendly replacement for Albert."

Anyone with information can call Mr Swaine on (01325) 720055.