A plucky pigeon has been nicking Armistice Day poppies to build a patriotic nest.

The bird was photographed taking red flowers from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Canberra, Australia, in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday commemorations.

The artistic bird built the colourful nest under the soft light of a stained glass window at The Australian war memorial.

Local reports say the unusual display was spotted by a maintenance man, but instead of getting rid of the nest, staff at the war memorial paid tribute to the bird.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports staff decribed the unusual tribute as a "reminder of the powerful bond between man and beast on the battlefield".

The pigeon built a red poppy nest next to a stained glass window

Pigeons were often deployed on the battlefield to send messages beyond enemy lines.

Historian Dr Meleah Hampton told Sydney Morning Herald: "Whenever we talk about animals in war, they are fulfilling a purpose or performing a task that people can't do easily on their own.

"So we use horses for transporting people or pulling guns, and we use pigeons as an answer to our problems with communication.

"Particularly in the early wars, communication is really difficult. Wireless is in its absolute infancy in the First World War and telephone wires get broken apart in the shellfire on the Western Front.

"So pigeons are particularly of use in warfare when you've got a couple of men trying to get a message from where they are back to the backline; a pigeon can get that through sometimes when nothing else can."

And where radio signals failed in difficult or mountainous terrain during World War Two, the birds were also relied on.

The nest was spotted by a maintenance man last week

Red poppies are a symbolic reminder of the ultimate sacrifice members of the military make – so used because they grew in the battlefields following the end of World War One.

The money from the sale of poppies in the UK goes to The Royal British Legion, founded in 1921 to help former servicemen and women and their families.

Animals who fought for their county are not forgotten either.

This year Pets at Home has partnered up with the Royal British Legion to offer limited edition poppy collars for cats and dogs, as well as a range of other accessories.

They don't seem to cater for pigeons, but that didn't stop one bird from marking the occasion.