Molly the magpie has been returned home and reunited with his unlikely best friends 45 days after the trio were ripped apart by wildlife authorities.

Heartwarming footage captured the moment Ruby and Peggy, two Staffordshire terriers, first saw the Instagram-famous bird after he was returned to their Gold Coast home on Monday.

In the clip, Molly excitedly chirps after noticing the Staffies from a cat carrier while being carried indoors by owners Juliette Wells and Reece Mortensen.

Peggy and Ruby pace and jump on the spot in excitement.

Molly briefly walks around the home sheepishly before quickly returning to his old ways, sprinting around the property and even having a bath.

Peggy, Molly, and Ruby waste no time getting back in for their trademark cuddles.

Despite being apart for 45 days, the magpie is also seen barking like her canine friends.

“Mollys first 24 hours home has been wonderful for all of us,” the Instagram post was captioned.

“The three best friends have been enjoying the sun together or just enjoying each others company like they have always done.

“We are just so happy to be together again.”

Queensland’s Department of Environment, Science and Innovation (DESI) announced the bird would be returned earlier this week, marking the end of a saga that gripped the nation.

According to independent veterinary experts, Molly is “highly habituated” and may have developmental issues, meaning he is not fit for rehabilitation or return to the wild.

This decision was made as per the Nature Conservation Act 1992, and came after extensive legal counsel, the department said.

The family fulfilled the license conditions, which included a commitment to not commercially using Molly or his image, wildlife carer training, and cooperating with DESI for his enrichment.

The statement emphasised that “these conditions are standard for all specialised licenses held by wildlife carers in Queensland and ensure the best outcome for the bird’s ongoing health and wellbeing.”

Additionally, DESI mandated that the family take on an advocacy and public education role to promote responsible care for native wildlife.

The nation has been captivated by Molly’s story since her surrender, as the magpie and her human family garnered over 860,000 followers on Instagram, showcasing Molly’s heartwarming friendship with the couple’s pet staffy, Peggy.

The saga climaxed on Thursday, April 11, when DESI announced Molly’s imminent return to her family, albeit with stringent conditions.

Molly, the Mortensens, and their staffers found friends in high places along the way, including Queensland Premier Stephen Miles, who advocated heavily for the bird’s return.

“This morning the Department has advised me that the couple can secure the appropriate licence. The team will work with them now to do that,” Mr Miles said Wednesday last week.

“It’s good news and means Molly can come home very soon.

“I’d like to thank everyone who has written to me to share their concerns and advocate for Molly’s return.”

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