When photographer Cameron Bloom and his family found an orphaned magpie in 2013 near their Australia home, they couldn't bear to leave her. Bloom was told the fledgling would most likely be put down by their local animal shelter, so after consultation with a veterinarian, his young son Noah offered to raise the little rescue by hand. Together, the family fed, bathed, and aptly named the black-and-white bird "Penguin". 


Despite being completely free, Penguin visits the family nearly every day. “She's definitely a wild bird," says Bloom. "But her personality hasn’t changed at all. She still loves to sing and hang out with us when she’s here." On rare occasions, Penguin has even introduced her adopted family to other wild magpies, who follow her inside the house.

Bloom began capturing the relationship between Penguin and his children in an intimate series of photographs, which he continues to post on Instagram. Since its inception, the account has garnered nearly 90,000 followers, and will soon be re-imagined as a book by New York Times best-selling author Bradley Trevor Greive

With this new-found fame comes the responsibility to educate others about respectfully interacting with wildlife. Australian law prohibits keeping native birds as pets, and the Blooms make it clear that Penguin is free to go as she pleases. In fact, having reached reproductive age, she's begun making longer trips away from their home. "She recently flew in after eight days away," he explains. "Of course, we're always happy to see her when she comes back." Bloom suspects she'll soon be starting a second family with birds of a feather. 

"We may have rescued her, but Penguin saved our family, too," says Bloom, whose wife, Sam, had broken her back shortly before Penguin was found in need of care. "Her playful presence helped us heal." 

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All images shared with permission from Cameron Bloom Photography.