When 9-year-old Noah Bloom discovered a baby magpie fluttering around the ground near his local library he knew exactly what he needed to do. The baby bird clearly needed help and so Noah, along with his mom (Sam), dad (Cameron) and two siblings, Reuben and Oli, stepped in and played mom to the magpie.
The young Bloom family from Newport, Australia named the magpie Penguin and nursed her back to health. During which time she learned how to fly and grew healthy enough to be set free back in the wild. Never expecting to see the sweet magpie again, the family was in for quite a surprise.
Today Noah is 11-years-old, and his rescued magpie is still a central component to the Bloom family. Penguin comes to visit the family on a daily basis. She plays catch with them, hangs out around the house and thoroughly enjoys sitting perched atop their shoulders.
Lucky for all of us, Cameron Bloom is a talented professional photographer and he takes many lovely photographs of Penguin, the half-wild, half-domesticated magpie beauty.
Penguin hangs around until the family heads off to work and school each morning, she then flies off to do bird things.
When the kids return home from school, Penguin is waiting, singing a song as her human siblings make their way up the driveway. Noah’s father told ABC News, “It’s like a dog wagging its tail – she sits there in the tree and flaps her wings like she’s excited.”
Little baby Penguin fell from a tree when she was only about 3-weeks-old. Thanks to the Bloom family, this rescued magpie named Penguin got a second chance at life. “We hand-reared her … and she learned to fly. It’s been really fun.”
The family did their research, and consulted with a family friend that is a vet, as well as a local vet in Mona Vale where they bought proper magpie food. They then slowly nursed the bird back to health with nourishing food, plus plenty of cuddles and love.
“She watches TV, jumps on the tramp with the kids, flies into our bed in the morning and cuddles up.”
Just like your typical family dog, this adorable Magpie even knows a few tricks and is great at imitating human behavior. “If you flap your arms like wings, she’ll flap her wings.”
“She spends a fair bit of time cruising inside the house, picking up the kids’ scraps and playing games. She’s pretty domesticated.”
The kids’ friends love Penguin as well, and when they come over to play she likes to join in on the fun. “When the kids play handball here with their friends… Penguin just flies from kid to kid, sort of gets involved. It’s pretty fun. It’s chaotic.”
Penguin knows she always has the love and support of the Bloom’s to keep her safe. “If other magpies are around she’ll make a beeline for the house and fly in here so she doesn’t get bombed and pecked – they really attack her.”
Penguin still knows how to make friends with other birds. In fact, a few months ago she befriended a local baby magpie. The two began playing together and Penguin brought her into the Bloom’s house. “Penguin and this one were just… talking and carrying on together. It was really cool.”
Penguin Bloom is free to come and go as she pleases, although she loves hanging around the Bloom household just as much as she enjoys being out in nature. She usually leaves at night, at which time Mr. Bloom places her in a tree outside. On rainy nights, she is known to sneak back in to escape the weather.
The average Australian magpie lives 25-years, meaning this family still has many more great years left with their sweet free-flying friend.
“I never thought she’d become as much a part of the family as she has. [The kids] love her like a dog, but better.”
You can follow the Bloom family’s adventures with Penguin on Instagram!