University scientists have named a study bird Marcel, in honour of Love Island’s Marcel Somerville – after the unlucky-in-love creature flew 600 miles searching for a mate.
The researchers could have been knocked down with a feather when they discovered he had flown toured all across the nation looking for a partner, including Cambridgeshire, Norfolk, Milton Keynes, and Birmingham.
Dr Kathryn Arnold, a Senior ecology lecturer, who is tracking the breeding habits of the bird, said: “Last month, we were shocked when the satellite tracking data came back from bird 16840 – or Marcel as we have nicknamed him, in honour of Love Island.
“After four days of searching and not finding a mate, Marcel then did a tour of England. In less than a week he flew over 600 miles”.
“We had no idea that he had been on such an adventure until we downloaded the GPS tag data.”
After swanning around the country, the lonely-hearted Nightjar has finally returned home to the Humberhead Peatlands – but still hasn’t found a companion, with only weeks of breeding season remaining.
The desperate bird is still being tracked by University of York researchers, who hope he may yet be able to find a female interested in him.
Marcel was the only bird being tracked in the experiment to travel more than several miles from home.
Marcus Somerville came fourth in this year’s hit TV show after romance blossomed with personal trainer, Gabby Allen. The reality TV series sees a group of islanders couple-up in a bid to win a £50,000 prize.
However, the popular TV star seemed baffled with the name choice, tweeting: “But I found love???”.
But I found love???
— Marcel Somerville (@marcel_rockyb) August 10, 2017
Other social media users suggested that the bird be renamed after contestant Jonny Mitchell, and one asked: “Are they taking the p*** or what?”
Are they taking the piss or what
— Rachel Roe (@rachelroe1991) August 10, 2017
However, the researchers have no plans to rename the bird, explaining: “The nightjar was named Marcel because, at the time, Marcel Somerville seemed unlucky in love on Love Island, just like ‘our’ Marcel.
“Hopefully Marcel (the bird) can find his own Gabby but he will probably need to wait until next year…”