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Valentine's Day: let a little bird tell you what your romantic future holds

Single women looking for love on Valentine's Day should turn to birdwatching to find out who they will marry, according to the ancient art of ornithomancy.

The practice of reading signs from birds, which dates back to Greek and Roman times, dictates that the first bird an unmarried woman sees on Valentine's Day is an omen of her future husband's character.

Women looking for romance should avoid woodland walks this Sunday, because spotting a woodpecker means no marriage is in the offing. But they may want to take a stroll along the river, as catching sight of a Kingfisher foretells a future husband who has inherited a large sum of money.

Glimpsing a goldfinch is another omen of a rich man, while clapping eyes on a canary means you will marry a doctor.

Tourism bosses in Worcestershire have compiled a guide to romantic ornithomancy after consulting experts on Celtic, European medieval and native American folklore.

And if single women find the practice fails to tell their fortunes, Destination Worcestershire hopes a spot of birdwatching will help to lift their loneliness on Valentine's Day.

Steve Whitehouse, an ornithologist, said: "It’s a great way to meet people. I met my own wife whilst birdwatching, and there are a lot of these birds across Worcestershire.

"Who knows, these like-minded people might find romance among themselves."

For Dubliners, who are most likely to see a pigeon, the future holds a man who wants to return to the place of his birth.

Women who are partial to a man in uniform should look out for a robin as a sign that they will marry a naval officer.

For those for whom the most important thing is a good sense of humour, a blue bird is a sign your future husband likes to make people smile.

And anyone lucky enough to spots a dove can rest assured that their marriage, when it comes, will be happy and loving.

Who's your lovebird? The ornithomancist's guide

Blackbird: he'll be involved in charitable or spiritual work – an aid worker of vicar

Dove: your marriage to him will be happy and loving

Robin: he earns his living through water – a naval officer or fisherman

Sparrow: he works with the land – a farmer or tree surgeon

Blue bird: he likes to make others smile – a comedian

Woodpecker: no marriage will take place

Duck: your relationship with him will be homely and stable

Gull: he travels a great deal for work

Birds of prey: he is a businessman, politician or leader

Goldfinch: he is a person of means

Kingfisher: he has already done well or inherited money

Pigeon: he will eventually return to the place where he grew up

© Telegraph.co.uk