Sherwood Forest Center Parcs ranger raises magpie by hand - and he now sits on his shoulder

Mike with Charlie.
Mike with Charlie.

A magpie has been raised by hand from a week-old chick by a Sherwood Forest Center Parcs ranger after it was abandoned in a garden.

Mike Hill, 53, senior conservation ranger at Center Parcs Sherwood Forest is used to looking out for nature, but this isn’t limited to his workplace in the forest.



Mike adopted the young magpie from the bottom of his neighbour’s garden, after the neighbour was concerned no parents had come back to rescue or care for the fledgling.

Hearing his neighbour’s concern, Mike intervened to save the bird and took it into his care.

At just one week old, the little bird needed help feeding so Mike spent that evening, dropping water into the chick’s mouth, hoping it might drink.

The next day the chick was drinking down water and mouthfuls of mealworms.

Since then, the ranger has brought the chick, affectionately named Charlie, into work at Sherwood Forest.

Charlie would perch on Mike’s shoulder, hopping, stretching his wings, gently pecking Mike’s beard.

Mike, who works with a team of ten rangers at the Nottinghamshire-based Center Parcs knows that whilst this is a very special bond, this relationship will be short-lived.

He said: “When he’s ready to go, he’ll go and that is what we wanted for him. To see him now so active and happy, compared with how he was, so weak at the end of someone’s garden, is wonderful and it only goes to show that just a bit of kindness to nature, goes a very long way.”

Center Parcs Sherwood Forest was the first Center Parcs location to open in the UK more than 30 years ago, now there are five across the UK.

Each forest is a popular short break destination for families throughout the year and is home to thousands of native species of flora and fauna.

A team of rangers work on enhancing habitats and recording species all year round, to make the forest a perfect place for creatures great and small, to thrive.