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AnimalsBizarreCuteEditor's PicksPet shop owner rescues a baby magpie from a cat – and now they are friends for-feather

Pet shop owner rescues a baby magpie from a cat – and now they are friends for-feather

A man has become best friends with a magpie after rescuing the garden bird from the clutches of a cat at just two weeks old.

Peter Redwood-Smith, 21, became a devoted adoptive father to the black and white bird named Pica after saving it when it fell out of its nest.

Peter and his unusual  adopted pet, Pica

Peter and his unusual pet, Pica.

He has hand reared and nurtured the tiny chick he named Pica, and the bird now happily sits on Peter’s shoulder throughout the day.

The bird is capable of flying away now and can come and go as he pleases – but instead has chosen to stay close to his friend’s side.

Peter says he is like an adoptive father to his feathered find.

Peter says he is like an adoptive father to his feathered find.

Peter, from Rayleigh, Essex, said: “Pica has free roam and he follows me from room-to-room.

“He’s started to pick up a few little tricks now and he will try to steal things.

Pica was rescued by Peter when he fell out of a tree.

Pica was rescued by Peter when he fell out of a tree.

“He will run off with a number of things, he takes money quite a lot like five pound notes and coins.

“He’s even tried to run off with a pair of scissors and will hide things around the shop.

Pica helps out at Peter's shop.

Pica helps out at Peter’s shop.

“But when I call him he comes to me and he tries to speak to me as well.

“Apparently they are very clever and have the intelligence of a five-year-old.”

Apparently magpies have the intelligence to that of a five-year-old.

Apparently magpies have the intelligence to that of a five-year-old.

Peter has even set up a YouTube channel and Facebook page where his fans can keep up to date with the pair’s latest adventures.

He rescued the bird almost six weeks ago when it had no tail feathers and was so weak it could barely stand.

When Peter recused Pica, he had almost no feathers.

When Peter rescued Pica, he had almost no feathers.

Peter feeds him a number of different things including duck, chicken, pheasant, meal worms, crickets and locusts.

The shop owner added: “I found him right outside my shop and brought him in and said ‘here’s a present’.

Pica helps run his human's pet supplies shop.

Pica helps run his human’s pet supplies shop.

“There was a cat just outside and Pica was so tiny he couldn’t have outrun the cat.

“It’s very lucky he was saved just in time otherwise he would almost certainly have met an untimely end.

Pica was very lucky not to fly into the paws of a cat.

Pica was very lucky not to fly into the paws of a cat.

“I have hand-raised Pica and looked after him. I had to feed him by hand so that he could build up his strength.

“I am just trying to give him the best life I can, he’s a lovely little bird. He’s very friendly.”

Peter says Pica is really very friendly.

Peter says Pica is really very friendly.

Pica has flown away twice but has returned to his adoptive dad not long afterwards.

He goes outside for up to two hours a day where he forages for food such as earth worms, but mainly he enjoys sitting on Peter’s shoulder.

Pica is said to have only flown away twice, and always returned to his adoptive dad.

Pica is said to have only flown away twice, and always returned to his adoptive dad.

Magpies are known to be clever and inquisitive garden birds which pick up all sorts of things to explore them – and they can even recognise their own reflection in a mirror.

But the birds are also a nuisance to other garden birds as they eat songbird eggs and chicks.

Their natural diet is quite broad as they eat insects, mice and other small rodents, as well as berries and fruits.

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