You’ve heard about partridges living in pear trees – but have you ever heard about the pigeon in the Christmas tree?
That’s what has happened in Fort William, where it really is Christmas every day because they’ve decided not to take the tree down.
Staff in the Lochaber town discovered that the bird has taken up residence in the branches of the tree.
The council described the bird as a pigeon – but locals believe it is actually an Eurasian collared dove.
The tree is in the Parade area of the centre of the town.
When council workers went to remove the tree and lights they found the unexpected squatter had made a nest and laid an egg.
Although the birds are not protected and the council workers would have been in their rights to remove it, it has been decided to leave the nest in peace until the chick has fledged and the nest abandoned.
The tree is looking increasingly sparse more than three weeks after Christmas – but its resident could seen yesterday happily nesting among the branches.
Scottish Natural Heritage were consulted and advised the feathered tenant could be evicted – but the decision to let it stay was taken by local ward councillors.
Councillor Thomas MacLennan, Lochaber committee chairman said: “Although the pigeon is not a protected species, myself and fellow ward members Councillors (Andrew) Baxter, (Bren) Gormley and (Brian) Murphy decided to leave the bird in peace.
“Who knows, by next Christmas there might also be Four Calling Birds, Three French Hens, Two Turtle Doves and a Partridge in our Christmas tree!”
In the meantime the tree and the lights will remain in place until the council are sure the nest has been abandoned.
The lights have been turned off and a sign is to be erected to notify the public why their Christmas tree is still up.