They say birds of a feather flock together, and never has that been truer than with this famous duo from Queensland, Australia.
Having never been apart for more than three days, identical twins Paula and Bridgette Powers are as inseparable as two people can be. They share everything from their bedroom to their wardrobe to the very words they speak. For the past 21 years, they’ve also been putting their “Twinnie magic” toward the passion they share most: protecting seabirds.
According to their mom Helen, the twins have been wildlife champions since they could walk. As children, they collected snails in their garden and were heartbroken when a pelican fell out of the sky near their home.
“We love all creatures great and small,” the sisters told ABC News. “They’ve all got heartbeats and feelings.”
One day, their animal sensibilities caught the eye of late wildlife expert Steve Irwin. He was immediately taken with the duo, watching with amazement as they comforted a sick turtle in their distinctive way of speaking in unison.
After that fateful encounter, Paula and Bridgette went on to work at the Australia Zoo for a season before starting their own animal rescue center, Twinnies Pelican and Seabird Rescue.
“They are so hands-on right from the beginning,” their friend Claire Smith said. “I have seen Twinnies perform miracles. I’ve seen birds with open fractures, I’ve seen birds without beaks, and I’ve seen very broken birds put back together with Twinnie magic.”
And Claire isn’t the only one! The Twinnies enrapture anyone who has the privilege of seeing their animal intuition at work. Among their mentors (and fans) is Steve Irwin’s father, Bob Irwin.
“I hate to think of how many hundreds and maybe thousands of birds would be dead now if not for the Twinnies,” Bob said.
When outsiders first observe the twins’ process, they might react with a bit of skepticism. Their constant method of speaking in perfect synchronization paired with their unhurried, often painstaking observation of every bird who comes into their care is so unique that they can seem like something of a facade.
Of course, the people who really know them know better.
“I think a lot of people make the mistake of seeing them as being some sort of novelty act,” Claire said. “But very quickly that just fades away to pure intrigue and wonder just over their level of knowledge and their passion and commitment. These girls are experts, they’re absolute pros.”
These siblings don’t just share a brain — they also seem to share one with every creature who walks onto their property!
“If there’s a bird in distress or even a turtle, the Twinnies respond,” vet and TV host Chris Brown explained. “Every single waking minute will be spent tending to that animal, and they don’t really rest until the patient’s needs are taken care of.”
As for their process, Chris said it’s their soft, steady disposition that sets them apart in the minds of these animals.
“It’s just a very gentle way they approach any situation, and [they] never rush because this is their life,” he added. “It is never a hassle to spend time to sit back, to watch, and make sure any approach to a bird is done in the best possible way. Birds seem to immediately relax when they are around the Twinnies.”
As their mom once said, “Sometimes I think they’ve been put on this planet for that reason.”
Even though Paula and Bridgette grow to love each bird like family, their ultimate goal always remains the same: releasing the animals back into the wild.
“When we undo that zipper on the pet pack, our hearts are pounding, and we do drop a tear,” the twins said in unison. “But [the wild] is where they belong, and it’s so good to see the little tail waggle.”
They added, “We give all our love to the birds.” It’s pretty clear to see the feeling is mutual!
What an incredible story of two incredible twins! Share the Powers sisters’ work to make an animal lover smile.
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