Magic Mike the Magpie has taken up residence in a Lurgan home, and become part of the family.
The baby bird was rescued from Lurgan Park by David Lorimer who discovered that he had fallen from his nest.
His wife Julie was astounded when her husband returned with the fledgling in his coat pocket.
Julie explained said; “My husband came home from a walk to the park with Mike in his pocket. He had fallen out of a nest and he was too big for the mother to lift him back up.
“David thought if had left him there something might have hurt or killed him so he ended up here.
Julie explained that he is part of the family now.
“He’s not afraid of dogs and his beak is getting very sharp,” said Julie as the little magpie pecked at her head.
“He just likes to go everywhere with you and sit on your shoulder and watch TV.
“We feed him off a baby spoon and he is started to eat wee bits for himself.
“And the kids love him,” said Julie who added that her daughter Emily Bibb, aged 15, has taken a real shine to him. “She just adores him.”
Julie added: “He is getting big now and he likes to wreck everything. He lands on the mantlepiece and pushes everything off the mantlepiece. He’ll lift the laces out of your shoe. He gets into the fruit bowl and peck all the fruit.
“And he likes to peck your ear and pull your hair. And it’s quite sore.
Julie explains that they take Magic Mike outside nearly every day but he won’t go anywhere. “He runs around the table. Then he gets up and runs up to my shoulder and that’s as far as he goes.”
Julie said that the baby magpie is definitely part of the family now.
“I think he is going to be here til he is a big boy,” she said.
Julie believes Magic Mike is only a few months old. “He was very small when he first came in. He couldn’t feed or anything. We just had to feed him by a spoon. But he eats everything.
“He likes porridge and toffee crisps,” she said.
Julie has no idea what to do with him. “He really should be back in the wild and I would like to see him making his own way. But he might be just a bit young yet. Maybe if he had another few months on him he would take off. But I think he is gettig too well looked after here. He’s spoilt,” she said.
Magpies are birds of the Corvidae (crow) family, including the black and white Eurasian magpie, which is considered one of the most intelligent animals in the world, and the only non-mammal species able to recognize itself in a mirror test.
In the spring, large numbers of Magpies often gather to resolve territorial conflicts and social standing. These gatherings, called parliaments, probably gave rise to the many nursery rhymes and poems about Magpies, such as:
One for sorrow, two for joy;
Three for a girl, four for a boy;
Five for silver, six for gold;
Seven for a secret, never to be told;
Eight for a wish, nine for a kiss;
Ten for a bird that’s best to miss.