Naughty Magpie Grounded for Years After Causing Mayhem in Pubs, Bakery

A mischievous magpie has been grounded by his owner after he caused mayhem in a branch of his local Greggs, the famous British bakery chain.

"Diva" bird Mike shot to fame in 2018 after a video of him squawking "Merry Christmas" went viral, with him striking up an unlikely bond with his owner's whippet.

But Janine MacLean, 53, has now revealed the troublesome magpie has spent the last 3 years locked up after his unruly behavior got out of hand.

Her partner, Steve Rostron, came across the "distressed" magpie when he was 4 months old while out walking with his whippet, called Boo Radley.

Magpie
Janine MacLean, 49 with Mike, the tame magpie, in an undated photo. The magpie has been grounded by his owner after he caused mayhem in a branch of his local Greggs, the famous British bakery chain. SWNS/Zenger/Lee McLean

And after he nursed him back to health, Boo and Mike became inseparable—sharing food, going on walks and snuggling up together on the sofa during the evenings.

But MacLean said Mike, who learned how to say words by listening to the radio station Classic FM, has now been caged after he went missing and caused havoc in the bakery.

She said: "He was free to fly around and would usually turn up in the evening but he'd been missing for two days.

"He eventually turned up in a local Greggs, and he obviously caused mayhem there.

"He was flying around and jumping on the counter, talking to people. People just thought that a magpie had gone mad.

"I'm not sure why he went there. He must have heard about their steak bakes or their sausage rolls."

Dog magpie
Best friends Boo the whippet and Mike the magpie who have become inseparable, in an undated photo. Janine's partner, Steve Rostron, came across the "distressed" magpie when he was four months old while out walking with his whippet, called Boo Radley. Lee McLean/SWNS/Zenger

MacLean, from rural Sabden in the Ribble Valley, England, said Mike had started to "terrorize" people in local pubs and schools after he reached the age of one.

She said: "He used to go out to the local pub and sit on people's pints and drink their beers.

"And he also went to a local primary school, and as everyone was lining up, he was lining up around then.

"Neighbors also came home and found him sitting on the bed—and he harassed an old lady up the street."

Mike's troublemaking came to a climax when he flew five miles away to Accrington and began hopping around the Greggs store.

And she said he was only rescued when a local animal lover noticed him and managed to bring him back to her home.

She said: "One woman managed to get him to follow her home. She had some crumbs from one of the kid's lunches, and he followed her.

"She's gone home, and then heard about him on Radio Lancashire, and while she's there, she's called me and put the speakerphone on.

"He could say his name, so I knew it was Mike, and then I went to pick him up. That was quite a few miles away, probably four or five. I'm not sure why he went there."

MacLean said a local farmer has now installed the £500 ($607) aviary, which opens into the kitchen of her four-bedroom home.

But bizarrely, the chirpy birdie has started to attack her partner, Rostron, who originally rescued him.

She said: "He launches himself at him if he comes into the kitchen when he's there.

Dog magpie
Janine MacLean with Mike the tame magpie and her whippet Boo in an undated photo. Mike had started to “terrorize” people in local pubs and schools after he reached the age of one. Lee McLean/SWNS/Zenger

"He tries to pull his ear off. I think he sees it as his territory, and I feel like the age he is, he's learned to mark it. But I'm not a bird psychologist."

"Steve originally found him, when was stray, and when he's outside the cage, he talks to Steve.

She added: "The aviary is about 2.5 meters squared. He can fly around in there, so it's not a cage."

Rostron said: "He now comes at me, he's a right vicious swine. Although he is quite sweet."

Produced in association with SWNS.

This story was provided to Newsweek by Zenger News.