Meet Penguin The Magpie – the unlikely family pet who became a social media sensation with over 136k followers on Instagram.
In 2013, 10-year-old Noah Bloom rescued a baby Australian Magpie lying on the lawn near his grandmother’s house in Sydney, Australia. “She was very lucky to survive such a horrendous fall but without immediate care would have died within a day,” Bloom’s father says. Noah and his Bloom family named the bird Penguin. Penguin was allowed to fly free, but still returned often to spent time with the family.
It’s like a dog wagging its tail – she sits there in the tree and flaps her wings like she’s excited.
Initially Penguin had to be fed every two hours during the day but slept through the night. Noah and his two brothers, Oli and Rueben, took turns with feeding duty. After preparing a special mix of ingredients into a kind of magpie porridge the boys would put a small amount of food on the tip of their index finger and hold it above Penguin’s head, more or less like a mother bird would do with a beak-full of grubs – Penguin would lunge greedily at her meal and swallow half the kid’s finger in the process; which was hilarious, kind of gross and somehow quite endearing.
Cameron Bloom is a photographer, husband and father of three boys based on Sydney’s Northern beaches. He began his career as a surf photographer at the age of 15. Since then his editorial and travel images have featured in many international publications. Cameron is also the award-winning cinematographer of Surrender, which was screened at the London Art Fair.
In December 2013, Cameron created an Instagram account, “Penguin the Magpie”—the inaugural photo featuring a wet and scruffy Penguin and the caption: “after my shower.” Bloom was soon approached by publishers, and after some time his incredible archive of photos of Penguin have been turned into the most beautiful book.
Australian magpies are known for their beautiful songs and Penguin certainly has a wonderful voice. She began singing short songs during the day from a very early age and would eventually sing for hours and hours at a time. Whenever we’d pull up in the driveway after being away from the house she’d let out a loud and melodic warble to welcome us home then flap her wings with excitement and run straight to the front door to be let inside.