An abandoned baby bird has started barking like a dog after being adopted by a adoring pooch who she thinks is her mother.
Molly the magpie was close to death after being abandoned by her parents in September last year – but was lucky to be discovered by Staffordshire bull terrier Peggy.
The one-year-old dog looked after Molly as if she were her own puppy, and, with the help of Peggy and her owners Juliette Wells, 45, and her partner Reece, 52, she made a full recovery.
As a result of being cared for by the loving pooch, artist Juliette says Molly has picked up some canine habits – and has even started barking just like her best friend.
Juliette, from Coomera in Queensland, said: ‘We first started noticing that Molly was barking back in April this year.
Molly the magpie has started barking like a dog almost a year on after being adopted by Staffy Peggy and her family from Coomera in Queensland
Molly was rescued by Peggy and her owners after she was found abandoned during a walk near their home
After a year of being cared for by the loving pooch, artist Juliette Wells says Molly has picked up some canine habits – and has now even started barking just like her best friend
‘We thought it was Peggy barking, but when we looked over at her she was fast asleep. Then we saw and heard it coming from Molly.
‘We started laughing so much because it sounded so much like Peggy. I couldn’t believe it.
‘She now does it a few times every day. Some days more than others depending on what is going on.
‘If she hears other dogs in the neighbourhood or a noise in the bush, she will bark.
‘I believe that Molly thinks that is what you do to communicate danger, because she has watched Peggy and is copying her behaviour.
Molly the magpie was close to death after being abandoned by her parents in September last year – but was lucky to be discovered by Staffordshire bull terrier Peggy
The pair have since become inseparable and spend 24 hours a day with each other
After obtaining advice from a local wildlife specialist about how to best nurse the magpie back to health, Juliette said that Moly made a full recovery within a week
‘Peggy looked at her when she first starting doing it, but after that she is not phased. She just thinks it is normal.’
Before meeting her best friend, Peggy the pooch was terribly afraid of birds – but for some reason, was very concerned about little Molly.
After obtaining advice from a local wildlife specialist about how to best nurse the magpie back to health, Juliette said that Moly made a full recovery within a week.
But after spending everyday with loving Peggy by her side, the magpie did not want to leave, despite being the couple persuading her to fly back into nature.
Peggy’s owners Juliette, 45, and Reece, 52, didn’t think the bird was going to make it after they took it home and it slept for about 24 hours straight
Juliette said Molly became obsessed with Peggy and the pair became inseparable.
She said: ‘We were taking Peggy for a walk when she discovered this little magpie that was all by itself. She looked really weak and not well at all.
‘We didn’t know what to do as we couldn’t see the parents anywhere. Then we spotted them at the top of the tree, but they didn’t want to come anywhere near her.
‘She would have fallen from the nest and they abandoned her, which can sometimes happen. We waited for two hours but they never came down.
‘We know a wildlife specialist who told us how to care for her. She slept for the first 24 hours, we didn’t think she was going to make it.
But after about a week, the well-cared for magpie made a full recovery and struck up a bond with Peggy
With the magpie seemingly here to stay, Reece named the bird Molly (pictured together)
‘We got her some live worms and a dropper with water, and within a week she had picked up.
‘We always leave all the doors and windows open and have tried to get her to fly back into nature but she has no interest in leaving us.
‘We’ve been teaching her to catch her own worms and lizards.. But she really thinks she is a dog, she runs around after Peggy.
‘They have their own little language and talk to each other. It’s so funny to watch.
‘I have never seen anything like it. Animals are amazing.’
Ms Wells said Molly became obsessed with their dog and even started producing breastmilk despite not being pregnant.
When the couple took the dog to the vet, they discovered it was because Peggy thinks Molly is her baby, and was producing milk in the same way as if she had puppies.
Ms Wells said Molly became obsessed with Peggy and even started producing breastmilk despite not being pregnant
The two have now become inseparable and even appear to have their ‘own little language’
‘We actually had to take Peggy to the vet because she was having a phantom pregnancy,’ Ms Wells said.
‘Molly kept poking at her nipples too, so for now Peggy is wearing shirts until it passes so her nipples are covered.
‘It’s crazy to think that this could happen, but it just shows their amazing bond.’
Ms Wells said Molly does not seem to have any plans to fly away anytime soon and even sleeps at the top of her curtain rod in the bedroom, while Peggy sleeps in her bed.
‘They are together from the moment they wake up until when they go to sleep,’ she said.
‘Then they’ll cuddle and play all day. It’s so lovely to see them together. They definitely have a mother-daughter type of bond.
‘Peggy needed something to nurture, and this little bird needed nurturing.
‘We’re blown away by their relationship, they have bought so much joy into our lives.’