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

Albert, the blue-fronted Amazon parrot, has made hundreds of friends all over the world during its 16 years at Walworth Castle in Darlington.

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

It even had its own email address so it could correspond with all of its fans and a link on the BBC website offered more information on the famous bird.

Three years ago, it was discovered that Albert was actually a female but it was decided to keep its name so as not to confuse its 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 Swaine, who bought the castle 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 it was taken to its new home.

To try and fill the void left by Albert's departure, Mr Swaine and his wife Rachel are looking for another feathered friend to sit in reception at the hotel.

Mr Swaine 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.