A teenager who hand-reared a baby sparrow and taught it to fly is set to stun wildlife lovers with his photos.
Photography-mad Jacob Martin has now successfully released the bird in his garden - but there is such a bond that 'Captain Jack' flies back regularly to perch on him.
Jacob, who is 18, noticed a chirping noise coming from the airing cupboard of his family home in Sharnbrook three weeks ago.
"I found a tiny baby sparrow in there, all alone. He must have fallen from a nest in the roof and through a hole in the cupboard ceiling," he said.
"I looked everywhere for the nest as I knew the best thing would be to put him back. But I couldn't find it anywhere."
With the tiny bird chirping for food, Jacob researched online and found sparrows can eat dog biscuits soaked to a mush with water.
Christening the bird Jack after Captain Jack Sparrow from Pirates of the Caribbean, he used a pair of tweezers to put food in the tiny beak on the hour, every hour.
"After a while Jack learned to peck, so then I started him on mealworms," he said.
When the family went on holiday to Newquay, Jacob made Jack a special box so he could come too.
"He didn’t mind the long drive and I sat in the back with him so I could feed him every hour," he said.
"Jack really enjoyed the sea view and really started to practise flying. He spent time on my dad’s shoulder, fell asleep on him and also landed on his hand as he was having a beer and stayed there."
The bond between Jacob and Jack grew and, as the sparrow became more proficient at flying, Jacob taught him to land on his hand on command like a miniscule bid of prey.
Fresh from completing a photography course at Bedford College, Jacob then got his camera out.
"Jack really seemed to enjoy posing for me. He was very patient and it was great fun intoruducing him a variety of objects I'd collected," he said.
Last week Jack was big and strong enough to release in Jacob's garden.
"At first he was unsure. He slept in the clematis under the window and would fly back towards my hand every time I went outside. But now he's living in the the neighbour's tree with a group of other sparrows. I like to think he's found his family."
Jacob is now hoping to find work as a photographer and wants to save up and buy a professional camera.
"My dream is to become a wildlife photographer. If I can't do that, I'd like to take pet portraits," he said.
"This has been a remarkable experience for me to get so close with a wild bird. Being able to nurse it through to flying and thriving is something I will always cherish."