“penguin was just a small, wobbly headed magpie chick when my son, noah, found her lying injured on the grass after being blown out of her nest. she was very lucky to survive such a horrendous fall but without immediate care would have died within a day.
“we built her a simple nest and kept her warm with a tiny blanket. noah immediately named her penguin, due to her black and white plumage. it is not easy to look after any injured wild creature [so] we undertook a great deal of research about magpies and were extremely grateful for all the specialist veterinary advice we received, especially in regard to penguin’s diet.
“while getting penguin to eat was a real victory, her recovery remained touch and go. but over time she grew in both stature and confidence.
“as penguin’s strength grew so did her curiosity. we never locked her inside any kind of cage so she was always free to venture outside the house. it didn’t take long before she started to forage for her own food in the backyard and it was clear she was becoming increasingly independent.
“despite being free to leave she still chose to sleep inside the house for at least six months. fortunately there is a large frangipani tree in our yard that penguin always felt comfortable in, so that became her home. however if we ever leave a window open she’ll fly inside the house at sunrise and scamper down the hallway to one of the bedrooms and jump into bed.
“australian magpies are known for their beautiful songs and penguin 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 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.
“while she will always be a part of our family penguin does not belong to us. the world is hers to explore and she regularly travels elsewhere, sometimes for days at a time. we won’t see her for a while and then, without warning, she confidently walks in the door as if nothing has changed.” (source, edited for length)