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In pictures: The family and the magpie who rescued each other

Penguin sitting on someone's head Image copyright Cameron Bloom

Whichever way you tell the story, it begins with a fall.

One day a gust of wind blew a magpie chick out of her nest. She lay helpless on the ground until a little boy called Noah spotted her.

Noah Bloom and Penguin Image copyright Cameron Bloom

He scooped her up and handed the fragile bundle to his mother, Sam. She put the bird gently on her lap and rolled her wheelchair to the car.

Sam Bloom in her wheelchair Image copyright Cameron Bloom

At home, they wrapped the baby bird up to keep her warm. She had a wobbly head and one wing was hanging down. She was just two weeks old.

Penguin and the family Image copyright Cameron Bloom

The vet advised feeding her every two hours or she might not survive. The Bloom family were determined to save this little bird.

Penguin and the family Image copyright Cameron Bloom

With her black and white plumage and enormous feet, she reminded them of a penguin - so that's what they called her.

Penguin and the family Image copyright Cameron Bloom

Penguin's adoptive family knew about survival. A few months earlier, Sam had fallen from a roof and broken her back (see our earlier story for more details). She could no longer walk and struggled to adjust. She missed running and surfing and she was angry and depressed.

Penguin loved to sit on Sam's shoulder Image copyright Cameron Bloom

Penguin loved to sit on Sam's lap and shoulder. Sam liked the company and poured her heart out.

"I would talk to her, I'd whinge, tell her how I was," she says. "Penguin knows it all."

penguin and Sam do their exercises Image copyright Cameron Bloom

Penguin hopped around the house and slept on the boys' beds. They threw small sticks for her to catch - sometimes she was more like a dog than a bird.

The father, Cameron, began to take pictures of the quirky magpie.

Penguin sitting on someone's head Image copyright Cameron Bloom

But Penguin wasn't toilet trained and as she grew stronger they encouraged her to go outside. Eventually she flew off and did not return.

Penguin and the family Image copyright Cameron Bloom

The Bloom family miss Penguin, but they no longer needed each other. It was time for her to spread her wings.

Sam has a new freedom too - she's taken up kayaking.

Cameron thinks the magpie rescued them as much as they rescued her.

Penguin and the family Image copyright Cameron Bloom

All photographs by Cameron Bloom from his Instagram page Penguin the magpie

Read the full story here

Listen to Sam and Cameron Bloom speaking to Outlook on the BBC World Service

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