What do a Penguin and a Magpie have in common? #SundayStills

What is a Magpie?

A black and white Australian bird.

Hates me.

Every year at springtime in Australia, there are numerous stories in the media about the spate of magpies swooping on unsuspecting walkers, bike riders, runners – anyone they take exception to being in their territory, as they protect their babies in the nest.

That means me. Every time.

They can do real damage by pecking people, drawing blood and causing people to fall off their bikes, as well as scaring normal people going about their everyday normal business.

Like me.

I can understand their motives and I applaud the care they give their young ones.  

But…they hate me.

This is my idea of a nice magpie, and he doesn’t eat much 🙂

I have written at least 10 posts mentioning magpies over the years, (I did a search), and in each one I mention the fact that magpies sing lovely songs of a morning outside my window, but they also love to hate me, they terrorise me with their vigorous swooping and they scare the @##$^ out of me.

Every year.

The experts tell you to make friends with magpies, not to run away from them, not to feed them, they have long memories and know if you’ve been mean to them – me be mean??

Here I am sharing my afternoon tea with one for goodness sake!

A few years ago I was out with my mum for afternoon tea and this very friendly magpie decided to join us for some scones and cream.

Could he not go and tell his friends how nice a person I am and to leave me alone in future?

magpies on the fence
magpies on the fence – can you tell which one is real?

Can you tell which one is the real magpie here? They often come down for a chat on the fence post, but it’s a very one-sided conversation!!

A Magpie called Penguin?

But this past week I’ve read a lovely book about a magpie, which has altered my view.

I haven’t read the first book Penguin Bloom, but I have heard only good things about it. This second book was more of a telling of Sam’s story, and oh my, how honest she has been. It made me cry and I came to love the little magpie that she was saving.

Spoiler alert: The magpie ended up saving her.

It’s since been made into a movie starring Naomi Watts and Andrew Lincoln, which I will see one day soon I hope.

The photos in the book by Sam’s husband, Cameron Bloom, are exquisite and it’s like a coffee table book, featuring the beautifully told story, but woven through with sublime personal family photos of Penguin the magpie. Hence the name Penguin Bloom – a very important family member!

Penguin Bloom

If you haven’t heard of this story yet, here’s the blurb from Goodreads:

Penguin Bloom is an extraordinary true story full of hope and courage, featuring Cameron Bloom’s exceptional photographs and a captivating narrative by New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive.

Penguin the Magpie is a global social media sensation. People the world over have fallen in love with the stunning and deeply personal images of this rescued bird and her human family. But there is far more to Penguin’s story than meets the eye. It begins with a shocking accident, in which Cameron’s wife, Sam, suffers a near fatal fall that leaves her paralysed and deeply depressed.

Into their lives comes Penguin, an injured magpie chick abandoned after she fell from her nest. Penguin’s rescue and the incredible joy and strength she gives Sam and all those who helped her survive demonstrates that, however bleak things seem, compassion, friendship and support can come from unexpected quarters, ensuring there are always better days ahead. This plucky little magpie reminds us all that, no matter how lost, fragile or damaged we feel, accepting the love of others and loving them in return will help to make us whole.

Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong

Sam Bloom
Sam Bloom

In Sam Bloom, Sam tells her own story for the first time – how a shy but determined Australian girl became a nurse and travelled across Africa. How she fell in love with a like-minded free spirit, raised three boys and built a life together on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. And then, in a single horrific moment, how everything changed. Sam’s journey back from the edge of death and the depths of despair is so much more than an account of overcoming adversity. Sam’s captivating true story – written by close friend, New York Times bestselling author Bradley Trevor Greive, and featuring extraordinary photographs taken by Sam’s husband, Cameron Bloom – is humbling, heartbreaking and uplifting in equal measure. A triumph of raw emotion and incredible beauty, Sam Bloom: Heartache & Birdsong is a truly unforgettable book.

I mentioned the book in my #ShoutoutSaturday post this week too, it’s made quite the impression on me.

Birds in general

Last week for Sunday Stills I also featured birds, red robins and king parrots, so it’s been lovely to join in again this week, with two very different stories about magpies.

Terri’s prompt for #SundayStills this week is Feed the Birds and I’ve shared something a bit different, so I hope you’ve enjoyed my take on it. I

have to say I LOVED Sue’s take on the theme in her post Birds of a feather flock together and Donna’s take on this week was very clever too – Johnny is a Bird Dog – everyone interprets prompts in a different way and it makes it so interesting!

Next week the prompt is Things that are white, hope you can join in.

If you’ve read the books or seen the movie, please let me know your thoughts.

Debbie 🙂

For one thing a penguin and a magpie are both black and white and they are both the name of a magpie (to answer the question in my title) 🙂

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38 Replies to “What do a Penguin and a Magpie have in common? #SundayStills”

  1. Lovely post. I’m sure some Magpies have charm but the two families of magpies in my garden are anti-social, noisy vandals! They bully other birds, tear the felt off my shed roof, make a horrible clacking noise and target my car with their deposits. Their only saving grace is that they are handsome birds.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deb, you are so funny. I love your magpie. That’s the best kind. I saw the movie made from the book a Magpie Called Penguin. It is so heartrending and heartwarming. Best movie I’ve seen in a long time. It’s a shame such bad things have to happen to people to make wonderful books and movies. 🙂 Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh goodness. I’m pretty sure I’d be a target too and I’d probably fall off my bike or throw out my back trying to avoid being a target…lol. Those books sound interesting. I will have to look for them. I have been dive bombed by our resident hummingbirds before but thankfully they haven’t hit me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. See that’s why I love this community Kirstin, we all learn from each other and get to enjoy visions of hummingbirds bombing us when in reality that will never happen for me living here in Aus! I was nicknamed a Hummingbird on speed by my workmates once 🙂

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  4. Oh,no, watch out for those Magpies, Deb! We have crows swooping diving for our heads at times. The tea photos are cute. I have heard about “Penguin Bloom.” I will need tissues handy to watch or read. Thank you for sharing a fun and interesting post, Deb. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love this, Debbie, what a magical post! If there are signs warning folks of swooping magpies, then their aggression is expected. I would hate that though to be attacked while riding my bike! Years ago we had a magpie family that adopted our backyard, then each year a new generation would flock together, eventually inundating the neighborhood with 20-30 flying through our backyards. My dog at the time (also black and white) literally played with them and chased them around when they stole his food. But you really got me with the story of Penguin the Magpie. I will be checking this out for myself. Sounds lovely! I’m so glad Sunday Stills allows us to not just share images, but stories and other creative ideas to allow our blogs to live! And, I have been chased by Canadian geese too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Terri, it’s always good to share different perspectives and #SundayStills allows this to happen. I hope you can find the book and movie about Penguin the Magpie, it’s well worth reading and hearing the story.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I love your take on the Sunday stills prompt and it has given me the courage to post mine. Very few birds in my take off of the prompt.
    Sorry you’ve had issues with birds. For me it’s robins – they attack our house yearly and have been flown in an slightly open window and scared the he_ _ out of me.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks very much Bernie, I’m so glad you have shared a post as well for the prompt. I can’t imagine robins being like that as they are always portrayed as sweet little birds 🙂

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  7. It seems your magpies look rather different to ours and from what you say about the song outside your window, they make a different sound! Ours have an awful grating chatter that is very annoying when it wakes you 😠

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I’ve heard that yours are a bit different to ours Sarah. Their warbling really is a lovely sound and I do applaud their parenting styles but…as for the swooping!!!

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  8. I have a love/hate relationship with magpies – I love their song, and their intelligence, but I hate their swooping – and I’ve seen some horror stories of children nearly losing eyes when being swooped. I keep them at a safe distance and my head down when I’m in their territory.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi, Deb – I started laughing (with you) as soon as I began reading this post. I remember your previous Magpie posts so I anticipated what was coming. I was not disappointed!
    I saw on Goodreads that you were reading ‘Sam Bloom: Heartache and Birdsong’. That definitely looks like a book that I would be interested in. I will keep a lookout for it. Thanks for joining in this week’s #SundayStills — it’s an awesome community!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve just this minute bought the first Penguin Bloom book to read as they are such a beautiful keepsake. Amazing story.
      I’m glad you weren’t disappointed with my magpie post with a twist – hopefully I’m not too predictable but I couldn’t let the prompt go without sharing my love/hate relationship with magpies.

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  10. I’ve seen Penguin Bloom the movie advertised recently and I will download the book as you and I have similar taste in the books that we read. I’m probably going to jinx myself, but I’ve never been swooped by a magpie in all the years I’ve been running or walking Ethan to school. They can do a lot of damage though that’s for sure. Do you have one of those bike helmets with the sticks poking out of them for protection?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I really want to see the movie now Sue and bought the first book this morning as I think they are just beautifully told stories of survival. Very honest and raw at times.

      No I don’t have one of the helmets with cable ties sticking out of them but may resort to that in the future!

      Thanks for visiting and leaving me a lovely comment – lucky you is all I can say to your comment about not being swooped. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We watched the movie Penguin Bloom and heard the name magpie. I thought it was the nick name they have to the bird because I didn’t know the bird, but caught on later. I wonder how they got that bird acted in the movie like a trained pet.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for letting me know you’ve seen the movie Miriam, did you cry?? I really have to see the movie and I have no idea how you’d train a magpie, they are very clever birds though!

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      1. I didn’t cry, Debbie. There is another person http://www.joniandgriends.org/unforgettablestory, Joni had a diving accident 53 years ago and became quadriplegic. If the link doesn’t work, her name is Joni Eareckson Tada. You could do a search. She came out of depression and became an author and artist. I might have seen her in person, I can’t remember.
        I was prepared when I watched the movie. The magpie is very good. You’d like the movie, Debbie!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Great post Deb. I learned a lot. I did not know what a magpie looked like, or that they were so protective of their nests. We don’t have magpies, but we have Canadian Geese. They will attack if they think you are going near their nest. I had one chase me to my car once. Fortunately, he was more running with small hops flapping his wings.

    Liked by 1 person

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