These captivating creatures show us how beautiful the world is when we come together in spite of our differences.

Advertisement

Juliette Wells and her partner, Reece Mortensen, are quite accustomed to the wondrous wildlife around their home on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia. However, even they couldn't have predicted how their family would change when they rescued an abandoned magpie—and why everyone from Wogawallan to Des Moines cares so much.   

About a year ago, Wells and Mortensen were at a dog park with Peggy, their easygoing English Staffordshire bull terrier, when they stumbled upon a baby Australian magpie who was alone on the ground covered in burs, grass, and twigs. Magpie young usually leave the nest as early as 3 weeks old, but this little one didn't seem healthy. Noticing that the flock parents seemed to be ignoring her, the couple decided to bring her home to recover. They named her Molly. And that's when the magic happened.

Molly the Magpie and Peggy the Dog cudding together on carpet
Credit: Courtesy of Juliette Wells

An Unlikely Pair

Wells tells Daily Paws that Peggy the dog was actually scared of Molly the magpie at first, since she'd been "swooped on previously by magpies, but was always very curious about her." Yet after a few weeks, something changed in their relationship. "The two would lay near each other, not touching, but next to each other. Then they started snuggling together." Soon, they were inseparable.

Their bond only strengthened from there, and Wells says Peggy actually helped save Molly's life. The pup was barely a year old when the fledgling arrived, and experienced what veterinarians refer to as a phantom pregnancy. "It's quite extraordinary. The vets confirmed this with Peggy, and [said] that it's common when an animal is nurturing something," Wells says. "Peggy wanted to help keep this young bird alive, and produced milk to help." The rescued magpie was sustained by this as well as other treats common in a wild bird's diet. Peggy's veterinary team later performed a procedure to help her stop lactating. 

Wells is certain this devotion is what helped create such a powerful bond between the two unlikely buds. "I do believe Molly thinks we're her family. She has many bird friends but sometimes prefers to just hang around Peggy," she says. "They really do look after each other and have each others' backs." As a wild creature, Wells and Mortensen let her come and go as she pleases. Wells says she might fly off for a day or two, but always returns home to play fetch, sunbathe, and hang out in the yard with her favorite furry pal.  

Living in Harmony

Australian magpies are amazing songbirds, and rarely are two warbles the same. Generally, they chatter and chirp [click here to listen to a magpie sing]. But they're also known to be rather clever mimics, and earlier this spring, Wells heard what sounded like two dogs in the yard. You guessed it—our feathered friend has learned how to "bark" just like Peggy. "She will hear a knock at the door or a noise in the bush and start barking," Wells says. "She does it so well, we don't always know which one of them is barking!"

In a wonderful twist, now 2-year-old Peggy became a real mom after giving birth to a litter of puppies just a few weeks ago. Without hesitation, Molly blossomed into a doting aunt, making sure not to miss a single moment of fun and cuddle puddles before all the little wigglies go to their new homes.

We're amazed at how natural it is for this unusual pair to cherish one another, and smitten with how their friendship radiates such goodness. Not surprisingly, Peggy and Molly have received a lot of attention from all over the world because of the sheer delight their togetherness provides. 

"The thing that makes me so happy about this relationship is that they chose us," Wells says. "I feel grateful every day to witness their relationship changing and becoming stronger, no matter what happens. It's true love and unity, regardless of their differences."

Know an unlikely animal pair like this one? We'd love to meet them! Duet, stitch, or tag us with #DailyPawsPets for a chance to be featured on the Daily Paws Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok channels.